CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina police officer accused of shooting and killing an unarmed man who had apparently been in an automobile wreck was scheduled to appear in court Monday to face a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M University football player, was killed early Saturday.

He had sought help at a nearby house, according to a statement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. A woman answered the door and, when she didn’t recognize the man, called 911.

Officers responding to the breaking and entering call found Ferrell nearby. Ferrell ran toward the officers, who tried to stop him with a Taser. Police said he continued to run toward them when officer Randall Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell died at the scene.

A police statement Saturday said the investigation showed the shooting was excessive and “Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”

Ferrell’s mother and brother are holding a news conference with their attorney, Chris Chestnut, on Monday morning in Charlotte. Chestnut also has represented the family of Robert Champion, a FAMU drum major who died during a hazing ritual in November 2011.

FAMU Interim Athletic Director Michael Smith said Ferrell played the safety position for the school’s football team during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

In describing the accident, Police Chief Rodney Monroe has said Ferrell was driving a vehicle that crashed into trees off a northeast Charlotte road early Saturday, and the wreck was so severe he would have had to climb out of the back window to escape. Monroe said he did not know what caused the crash and did not say whether Ferrell suffered injuries.

Ferrell apparently walked about a half-mile to the nearest house and was “banging on the door viciously” to attract attention, Monroe said. Thinking it was her husband coming home late from work, the woman who lives there opened the door. When she saw Ferrell, she shut it and called police about 2:30 a.m., Monroe said.

Monroe said he didn’t think the unarmed Ferrell made threats or tried to rob the woman.

8 thoughts on “Randall Kerrick Charged With Voluntary Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting of Jonathan Ferrell

  1. Laura M. on said:

    I read about this story on another site awhile ago and was very sad for a couple of reasons. First, the lady who called 911 overreacted (call it racist if you must but I won’t assume that). Then the cops overreacted. And a guy who was in a car accident and looking for aid was shot to death. Very, very tragic.

    The second thing that makes me sad and also concerned about police behavior is that they shot first and asked questions later. What if Mr. Ferrell had been deaf and could not hear the orders to halt?

    With law enforcement in my family I know that police officers are trained quite well to protect themselves but they no longer are trained to “protect and serve”. They get no real training in spotting and helping people who are having epileptic seizures or assessing people to find out if they are deaf or blind. They are defensive towards everyone – every citizen is a probable “bad guy” out to do them harm and the rest of us are only “helped” once we are victims of crime.

    • Laura M. on said:

      I understand your feelings nonya. But, as a “white” woman, I have to ask when I will be given the benefit of the doubt about not being racist. I used to suffer from PTSD which included panic attacks when passing or walking through open areas. The reason is irrelevant but I will say it had no racial elements. One day I was going to adult ed and the only person in sight was a tall, well dressed black man walking in the opposite direction. I was dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase. I was nervous as heck because I was about to cross a very large grassy area to get to class. I was actually thinking of asking the gentleman to reverse course and escort me across the lawn and to the classroom buildings. Finally, I decided that I had to handle my fears on my own and when he and I passed each other, I politely said, “Good evening.” In response, he laughed derisively at me. I believe that he saw my fear and ASSUMED I was afraid of HIM. To assume is to make an ASS out of U and ME. And, I had assumed that he was a gentleman due to his nice clothing. Apparently, I was wrong.

    • Deborah M on said:

      Vernon, I was thinking the same exact thing! Thought HE was the one doing the shooting! smh R.I.P. brother. So sorry this happened to you.

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