GREENSBORO — Eleven-year-old Shain Taylor locked himself and his 4-year-old sister Hayley inside a bathroom Monday morning while their mother tried to protect them.
At the front door, Jessica Taylor was trying to stop a large man from entering their Maybank Drive house. He was using metal chairs on the porch and anything else he could find to break down the door.
Greensboro police soon arrived and detained the intruder, later identified as 35-year-old Aaron Michael Andrews of Greensboro.
According to a news release, police noticed Andrews "acting erratically" and called paramedics to evaluate and treat him.
But when EMS personnel tried to take Andrews to a hospital, he became unresponsive and later died, police said.
The death is reminiscent of the case of Marcus Deon Smith, 38, who also died while in police custody in September 2018.
Exactly how and why Andrews died is unknown. Police are saying little.
Meanwhile, the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said the city will ask a judge for permission to release any footage captured by the cameras that officers are required to wear.
“I know there are a lot of questions surrounding that issue,” she said.
Police spokesman Ron Glenn said that Andrews was handcuffed when he died, but wasn't restrained with the controversial RIPP-Hobble device used on Smith. The contraption binds a person's arms and legs behind their back, the kind of "prone restraint" the state medical examiner said contributed to Smith's death.
Casey Taylor said he and his wife didn't hear that Andrews had died until later Monday evening.
"He needed help, and I just wish he would have come at it a better way and my wife would have helped him," he said. "But in that instant, she had to choose her life and the kids' life — or his.
"I hate to put it that way, but it's hard to know what a man's intention is."
Shain and Hayley were watching TV Monday morning when the doorbell rang.
Jessica Taylor looked out the window, but didn't see anyone. She opened the door wondering if it was their landlord.
But it wasn't the landlord. Instead, it was a big man she didn't recognize charging toward her.
"He runs towards the door and she shuts it as he grabs it and she calls the police," Casey Taylor explained.
But before she dialed 911, Jessica Taylor told Shain to take his sister into the bedroom and lock the door.
"I told him I was proud of him," Casey Taylor said. "When she told them to run to the room and lock the door, he went to the room, locked that door and then went to the bathroom and locked that door.
"He literally took the initiative into his hands and took care of his sister."
At the front door, Jessica Taylor was still fighting off the man, who was yelling incoherently.
"He threw chairs, kids' toys — everything at the door," Casey Taylor said.
On Tuesday, he walked around his wooden porch and surveyed the damage. Paint was missing from the front door. The porch had scratches. And apparently Andrews threw the kids' sidewalk chalk at the house, too.
"He just went berserk," Taylor said.
Taylor had been working in Morehead City when his wife called to tell him what happened and was home that night. He said his wife didn't sleep Monday night, his son is "freaked out" and his daughter isn't completely sure what happened except that a "bad guy" tried to break into their home.
"The most frightening 10 minutes of her life was standing right over there watching a man beat at our door and trying to get the kids in the other room," he said. "And nothing she could really do about it."
Taylor's wife and children left the trauma of Greensboro behind on Tuesday for some fun in Raleigh.
Taylor stayed behind. Remaining with him is a feeling that things could've happened differently.
"A man needed help, but he couldn't ask the right way," he said. "And it ended up, sadly enough, costing him his life."