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N.C. police officer charged in killing of unarmed man

Sept. 14, 2013 at 11:49 PM  |  Updated Sept. 16, 2013 at 8:54 AM   |   Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., police officer was charged with voluntary manslaughter Saturday after shooting and killing an unarmed man, police said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said Officer Randall Kerrick, 27, was "devastated" after killing Jonathan Ferrell, 24, early Saturday.

Ferrell -- a former Florida A&M University football player -- evidently crashed his car into some woods in northeast Charlotte and walked to a house about a half mile from the crash scene to get help, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Monroe said Ferrell banged on the front door "viciously" at about 2:30 a.m. EDT, and a woman inside opened the door, thinking it was her husband coming home late from work. The woman closed the door as soon as she saw Ferrell and called police.

Three police officers arrived at the scene and surrounded Ferrell, who "immediately charged" the officers, Monroe said.

Officer Thornell Little fired a Taser at Ferrell but Ferrell kept running toward the officers, police said. Kerrick fired several rounds, hitting Ferrell multiple times.

Ferrell, who the newspaper said apparently moved to Charlotte this year from Tallahassee, Fla., was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said in a statement Saturday an investigation determined "the shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive" and Kerrick "did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter."

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