A North Carolina police officer is being charged with manslaughter after fatally shooting an unarmed black man who is believed to have been looking for help after an auto accident. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the victim is a former Florida A&M football player.
The 24 year old victim, Jonathan Ferrell, knocked on a woman’s door after surviving the crash at 2AM on Saturday. Police Chief Rodney Monroe says the woman thought her husband was at the door but when she saw that it wasn’t her husband, she “immediately closed the door, hit her panic alarm and called 911.”
The victim reportedly continued to try to get the woman’s attention after she’d already called 911.
“It was quite possible he was seeking assistance based on his accident,” Monroe added.
Three officers who responded to the scene said the victim acted “aggressively” when they approached him.
“He immediately charged toward the three officers, one in particular,” Monroe said. “That officer [Randall Kerrick] in particular fired his weapon several times, striking the individual multiple times.”
Ferrell died at the scene. He was unarmed.
Shortly after gunning down Ferrell, police found a crashed car they believe to be Ferrell’s. Chief Monroe says he believes Ferrell climbed out of his back window after the crash and found his way to the nearest home in the area, which was the home of the woman whose door he knocked on.
Later police issued the following statement: “[t]he evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive. Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”
Randall Kerrick has turned himself in on charges of voluntary manslaughter.