Only On WCCB: Local Family Speaks Out About Man Allegedly Shot, Killed By Ranlo Police Officer

RANLO, N.C. — The family of a man authorities say was shot and killed by a Ranlo Police officer is speaking out about the moments leading up to his death.  Authorities say 33-year-old Juan Avalo was shot to death by Ranlo Police Officer Kwaka Agyapon on January 1, 2023.

Search warrants show Avalo contacted Agyapon after he found the officer’s cell phone number saved in his wife’s phone.  Warrants show the men communicated about meeting up to fight.  Authorities say last November, Agyapon investigated a domestic violence case at Avalo’s home, and later communicated with his wife by phone.

“He was stating that he had been through a domestic violence case and that he was a victim of it before and he was using this, wanting to be supportive,” says Krystal Ortiz, Avalo’s wife.  Ortiz says she was shocked when the officer showed up at their home on Burlington Avenue around 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day.  She says the family noticed Agyapon had a gun.

“He was asked multiple times to leave the premises, and he refused to do so,” she says.  The family says Avalo had a knife and attempted to defend himself against Agyapon.   According to warrants, the officer was stabbed before Avalo was shot.  Avalo died hours later at a local hospital.

Agyapon remains behind bars in Cleveland County on first degree murder charges without bond.  He previously worked as a police officer in Gastonia, and also worked as a corrections officer in Rowan County.

Avalo’s family is now planning for their loved one’s funeral.  If you’d like to help them, click the link below.