Newly-released body camera footage reveals the dramatic and deadly police shooting of a 27-year-old man who authorities say was armed in a North Carolina parking lot.
A judge granted the release of the tense body camera footage on Monday. But the shooting unfolded on the morning of March 25, after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said two 911 calls came within minutes reporting an armed man at a business.
“The first caller frantically said she needed police quickly” because a suspect went behind the counter with a gun and pointed it at an employee, police said in a statement on Monday. “The second caller frantically said she needed police because an individual had approached her vehicle while she was waiting for food in the parking lot of the business and pulled out a gun.”
When two officers reached the parking lot, they saw Danquirs Franklin squatting next to an open car door, said police.
Both officers pointed guns at Franklin, who was black, and repeatedly told him to “put the gun down.”
Franklin remained crouched on the ground of the parking lot, next to an open car door, facing the inside of the car.
When one of the officers “perceived an imminent, deadly threat,” she fired her gun twice, hitting Franklin, said police. The 27-year-old was taken to a hospital, where he died, said police.
In the blink of an eye, their jobs require an instantaneous decision and that it something none of us should take lightly.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the video showed “the instant where a mother lost her son, children lost their father and a young man had his life end much too soon.”
“It’s another really sad moment and reminder that the responsibilities of law enforcement are and will always be immense,” she said Monday. “In the blink of an eye, their jobs require an instantaneous decision and that it something none of us should take lightly.”
Just before the video was released, Lyles told reporters Monday, “I believe it’s the duty of responsible leaders to get out in front of an event like this, to ensure everyone in our city that we are dedicated to the pursuit of truth and justice.”
How we respond as a community will reflect how we honor the memory of Danquirs Franklin.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney described the video as “like a punch to the gut. It’s hard to watch … because a life has been lost. ”
But Putney added there is “clear and compelling evidence” Franklin was armed.
The mayor and police said they are prepared for peaceful protests.
“I call on all of Charlotte to come together respectfully,” Lyles stressed. “How we respond as a community will reflect how we honor the memory of Danquirs Franklin.”
“I hope you’ll do what we’re doing and pray for Miss Franklin and her family. Pray for our officers, whose lives have been destroyed, as well,” Putney said. “And come together as a community and be heard. But be lawful.”
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police’s homicide unit is investigative the shooting, and once that is completed, the evidence will be turned over to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office for review, the department said Monday.
Wende Kerl, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who shot Franklin, was placed on paid administrative leave, the department said in March. Kerl has been with the department for over 20 years.
The department’s internal affairs bureau “will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD [Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department] policies and procedures were adhered to,” the department said in March.
ABC News’ Rachel Katz and Ben Stein contributed to this report.