Police shot and killed a 24-year-old man who ran toward them in what they believed to be a threatening manner. The man was actually unarmed, and seeking medical help after being in a car accident.
Three officers responded to a breaking and entering call in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday. A woman had called 911 to report a man who wouldn’t leave her front porch and kept knocking on the door. When the officers arrived, the man ran toward them. One of the officers fired a stun gun “unsuccessfully,” according to CNN.
It was then that officer Randall Kerrick shot and killed the approaching man, Jonathan Ferrell.
Authorities now believe that Ferrell was merely calling for help after crashing his car. A local news channel’s analysis of the crash site suggests that he climbed out of the back window and then went to the nearest house for help. The homeowner misunderstood his situation and called the police.
All three officers were placed on paid leave pending an investigation. Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter.
“The investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive,” said a statement from the Charlotte police department.
Ferrell was a former student and football player at Florida A&M University. He was engaged to be married, and just a month shy of his 25th birthday.