Car-Wreck Victim Killed as He Sought Help

Cop charged with manslaughter after victim charged him
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2013 10:52 AM CDT
Car-Wreck Victim Killed as He Sought Help
Officer Randall Kerrick   (Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A North Carolina cop is staring down manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man who was trying to get help after wrecking his car, reports the Charlotte Observer. Police say that Jonathan Ferrell, a 24-year-old recent transplant from Florida, was involved in a bad crash early Saturday; he likely escaped through the rear window. He then walked a half-mile to a neighbor's house and began "banging on the door viciously," says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe. The homeowner thought Ferrell was trying to rob her and called police; Ferrell then "immediately charged" officers who responded. One attempted to tase him and failed. Officer Randall Kerrick, a two-year veteran of the department, is accused of then firing several rounds, killing Ferrell.

"The shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive," said a police statement, adding that "Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter." Alcohol isn't thought to have been a factor in Ferrell's accident, though that "doesn't change the circumstances," says Monroe. Toxicology reports will take a few weeks. Kerrick "is pretty shook up," says Monroe. "He’s devastated." Meanwhile, New York City police attempting to subdue a suspect in Times Square accidentally shot and injured two women bystanders, reports the New York Times. (Read more police stories.)

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