Tags: jonathan ferrell | killed | police | seeking | help

Jonathan Ferrell Killed by Police While Seeking Help After Wreck

By Alexandra Ward   |   Monday, 16 Sep 2013 07:07 AM

A North Carolina police officer was charged with voluntary manslaughter over the weekend after he shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, a man who witnesses say was running toward authorities for help after a car wreck.

Officers first saw Ferrell, 24, Saturday morning when they responded to a breaking and entering call in the Charlotte area. They claim he matched the description of the suspect and was "advancing" on them, according to CNN.

After failing to subdue Ferrell with a stun gun, Officer Randall Kerrick opened fire, hitting Ferrell several times and killing him. He was unarmed.

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Police later discovered a severely wrecked car nearby and now believe that Ferrell may have been seeking help after crashing. The original 911 call about a possible breaking and entering was from a woman who claimed a man had knocked on her door and "continued to attempt to gain the attention of the homeowner," according to a police report.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe told CNN the man was probably Ferrell trying to get help.

Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter, meaning the person used excessive force in self-defense, or carried out the act without intent to kill.

In a report of the incident, officials used words like "advanced" and "charged" to describe Ferrell's actions.

"The evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive," police said in another statement issued late Saturday night. "Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter."

Ferrell was a former football star at Florida A&M University.

Many on Twitter believe the shooting was racially motivated. Ferrell was African American, and Kerrick is white.

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