Officer Wende Kerl shot and killed Franklin at a Burger King around 9 a.m. on Monday, according to the Charlotte Observer. Police say Franklin was armed with a gun at the time of the shooting and refused to drop it when commanded to do so by police.
According to reports at least one witness is disputing those facts.
Precious Robinson, who was reportedly in the restaurant’s drive-thru at the time of the shooting, told the Observer an armed man was threatening a woman at the Burger King with a gun and a second unarmed man, Franklin, tried to intervene to help. According to Robinson police shot the wrong man.
Charlotte police tweeted Monday evening that there was “misinformation” being reported about the shooting. They said they received multiple 911 calls about a man with a gun, and when officers arrived, they reportedly saw the man with the gun. They gave multiple commands for him to drop the gun, which they said he refused to do. A gun was reportedly recovered at the scene.
During a media briefing CMPD Chief Kerr Putney told reporters: “We get here, engage the subject, who is armed. There are multiple commands to drop the weapon, as we engage him outside in the parking lot. At some point…one of the first arriving officers perceived a lethal threat (and) fired at least one round, striking the subject.”
CMPD Internal Affairs will conduct an investigation into the shooting, according to the Observer. Officer Kerl, a 24-year veteran with the department, has reportedly been placed on paid administrative leave.
Protesters gathered across the street from the restaurant and accused police of “shooting first” and asking questions later, disputing the police account of the events that led up to the shooting.
This is the second deadly shooting for CMPD in 2019.