A Black man has been fatally shot by police in North Carolina as he was served with a search warrant in his car, authorities have said.

State officials in Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, have opened an investigation after Andrew Brown Jr was shot while trying to drive away on Wednesday morning.

Deputies fired at him multiple times and his car skidded into a tree, according to a witness.

Police have not said whether Mr Brown was armed or whether he was considered a threat to the officers. The nature of the warrant has not been disclosed.

Demetria Williams, who lives on the same street, said: “When they opened the door he was already dead. He was slumped over.”

The deputy who shot Mr Brown was wearing an active body camera at the time, Sheriff Tommy Wooten II told a news conference. The officer has been placed on leave pending a review by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Mr Wooten added: “It’s been a tragic day.”

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Relatives have described the victim as a 42-year-old father and an African American. He was near his home when he was fatally shot.

Court records show Mr Brown had a history of drug charges and a misdemeanour drug possession conviction.

People gathered outside the town hall as the city council held and emergency meeting to discuss a possible curfew following the shooting.

Elizabeth City is on the coastal border with Virginia and has a population of around 18,000 residents. Around half of the population are African American.

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The shooting came the day after a jury found Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, guilty of murdering George Floyd last year by kneeling on his neck while he was handcuffed and under arrest.

Chauvin had denied charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

However, after 10 and a half hours of deliberations earlier this week, the jury unanimously convicted the 45-year-old on all counts.

Under state sentencing guidelines, he faces 12 and a half years in prison for his murder conviction as a first-time offender, but prosecutors could seek a maximum of 40 years.