An autopsy report revealed that the Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, a former president of the North Carolina NAACP, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, reports WRAL News.
Spearman's death was investigated by Guilford County Sheriff's Office after he was found dead at his home in Greensboro in July 2022. At the time of his passing, investigators found a .32-caliber handgun at the scene near his right hand, near the right side of his head and there were burn marks around the wound, stated the report. In addition, 911 calls revealed he was the subject of a robbery a week prior.
“This is an ongoing investigation and no further information will be released at this time,” read the press release from the Sheriff’s Department at the time.
A social justice advocate, Spearman gained a reputation for being a fierce fighter for those on the margins of society. He stood up against institutional racism, police brutality, voter suppression; he was a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.
As a community activist, he formerly served as President of the North Carolina Council of Churches, a member of the Guilford County Board of Elections, a Servant Leader of the Guilford County Political Action Committee, a member of Saint John’s Lodge #12 F&AM (PHA) and Greensboro Consistory #106, Justice Coalition USA, a champion for the LGBTQ+ community; a critic of criminal justice discrepancies, voting rights advocate, and Coordinator for the Economic and Political Empowerment of the Piedmont Episcopal District (A.M.E. Zion Church).
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Sciences from Mercy College, a Master of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, who also served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, lauded Spearman for his tireless work on behalf of marginalized people.
"I have lost a true brother in the struggle,” Barber said at the time of Spearman's death. “North Carolina and the nation have lost a champion of justice and a beloved public servant. We have all lost a freedom fighter, a man deeply committed to justice and a man of true faith."
Spearman is survived by his wife Janice Spearman and three children.
We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman.