By DEAN SCHABNER
A Charlotte, N.C., police officer is facing a voluntary manslaughter charge tonight in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man who was looking for help after crashing his car.
Jonathan Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M University football player, sought help at a woman's home after the crash early Saturday morning, but the woman called 911 reporting a strange man outside her door.
"She immediately closed the door, hit her panic alarm, called 911," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Moore said.
She reportedly told police that she thought the man was trying to break into her house.
"As the officers approached him just to determine it is the individual, what's going on, he just immediately takes off and runs toward a particular officer, and that officer attempted to retreat but at the same the same time fired his weapon," Moore said.
Police had first tried to stop Ferrell by firing a Taser at him, but he kept coming, which was when Officer Randall Kerrick shot him several times, Moore said.
Ferrell, who played safety at FAMU, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police determined the shooting was "excessive" and that Kerrick "did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon."
Kerrick, 27, of Midland, turned himself in for booking Saturday evening and was released on $50,000 bond, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office website.
Kerrick, who joined the police force in April 2011, was scheduled to make his first appearance court hearing Monday.
Ferrell's former teammate at FAMU, Greg Boler, told ABC affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte he couldn't understand how such a thing could have happened to his friens.
"He was never the type of individual that was in to anything bad in any type of way. Just a good person, very humble," Boler said. "Just a great contributor, definitely highly recruited."
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