Charlotte, NC Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Hours After Man is Fatally Shot By an Officer

Charlotte, NC Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Hours After Man is Fatally Shot By an Officer

Police fired tear gas late Tuesday at several hundred people protesting an officer-involved fatal shooting in the University City area earlier in the day.

Several dozen police officers in riot gear faced off with the shouting protesters on Old Concord Road at Bonnie Lane.

A CMPD helicopter was circling very low over the crowd with a searchlight illuminating the protesters. Old Concord Road was shut down, with people standing in the middle of the road.

At 10:53, police donned gas masks after a half-dozen water bottles were thrown. Tear gas was soon deployed.

The protesters held signs that said “Stop Killing Us” and “Black Lives Matter,” and chanted “No justice, no peace.”

Several police officers were injured while trying to disperse the demonstrators, police said. WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, reported that about 15 officers and one protester were hurt.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, a CMPD officer shot and killed a man in the parking lot of a University City apartment complex.

The man who died was identified late Tuesday as Keith Lamont Scott, 43, and the officer who fired the fatal shot was CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson, a police statement said.

Police said they were searching for someone who had an outstanding warrant at The Village at College Downs complex on Old Concord Road when they saw a man with a gun leave a vehicle.

Police said they approached the man after he got back into the vehicle. The man got out again armed with a firearm “and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers, who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” police said in a statement. “The officers immediately requested Medic and began performing CPR.”

Scott was not the person officers were searching for to arrest on the outstanding warrants, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney told reporters at the scene.

Medic took Scott to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

A police source confirmed that Scott and Vinson were both African-American.

Police said they recovered the firearm Scott was holding when police shot him shortly before 4 p.m. Police were also interviewing witnesses.

A woman who said she is Scott’s daughter claimed that the man was unarmed when he was shot. She live streamed a video from the scene on Facebook for more than an hour after the shooting.

The video went viral, with more than 521,000 views by 9:30 p.m.

In the video, the woman said her father was sitting in his vehicle reading a book and waiting for the school bus to drop off his son. She claimed in the video that her father was Tasered and then shot four times, and that he was disabled.

Police declined to respond directly to the woman’s accusations.

As is standard procedure with any officer-involved shooting, CMPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were followed.

Per department protocol, Vinson will be placed on administrative leave.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 704-432-TIPS (8477) or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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