Charlotte police shoot and kill man, sparking protests

Protesters gather in Charlotte after a fatal police-involved shooting. (Photo: WCNC NBC Charlotte)
Protesters gather in Charlotte after a fatal police-involved shooting. (Photo: WCNC NBC Charlotte)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WCNC/CNN/WAVY) — Protests erupted Tuesday night in Charlotte, North Carolina after police shot and killed a man in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were at the complex about 4 p.m. looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant when they encountered the man — not the suspect they were looking for — inside a car.

“Man was in his truck, reading a book waiting for his kid to come home,” a man on the scene told WAVY affiliate NBC Charlotte.. “Cops shot him, for nothing.”

It was not clear why authorities were serving the warrant. While they were looking for that individual, officers saw a man get out of a car with a gun, then get back into the vehicle, the statement said.

Officers moved in.

“The subject got back out of the vehicle armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” police said.

Police Chief Kerr Putney said at least one officer shot the man. Two investigative branches of the department were looking into the shooting, he said.

The man, who was not identified, died at Carolinas Medical Center.

A gun the man was holding was found at the scene, police said.

A man who claimed to be the brother of the man shot by police spoke with NBC Charlotte.

“He was waiting on his son to get from school and police came out with no… he didn’t have on no uniform to determine if he was a police or not — he was an undercover and he just jumped out and yelled ‘gun’ and shot at him,” he said. “I think they shot him four times, I’m not sure, but he’s dead.”

The late-afternoon shooting set off an angry crowd response that grew as the hours passed. NBC Charlotte said “a massive crowd of people” gathered to protest the shooting Tuesday night.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said on Twitter that several officers were injured during the protests.

The department also tweeted that “agitators” were trying to destroy marked police units at the protest.

At least one city bus was used for people who had been detained by police.

The suspect’s identity, race and the races of the officers involved have not been released. Police said they would release the person’s name after the family has been notified.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in such cases.

CNN and WCNC contributed to this report.

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