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D.A. Clears CMPD Officer In Fatal Shooting

Mark Hames
The Charlotte Observer

A CMPD officer who shot and killed a woman in February will not face criminal charges.  

Two police officers were called to a north Charlotte apartment on the night of February 18th, to investigate a domestic dispute involving 20-year old Janisha Fonville. Before police entered the apartment her girlfriend Korneisha Banks told the officers Fonville was mentally ill, had a knife, and might hurt herself.  

A report from Mecklenburg County DA Andrew Murray says when Officer Anthony Holzhauer and his colleague entered the apartment, Fonville jumped up from a couch. Holzhauer says she lunged at them, holding a knife. The other officer backed that up. Banks says Fonville appeared to be moving toward her, but she told police she wasn’t sure if the knife was in her hand. Holzhauer then shot twice, killing Fonville

The DA’s report says one of those shots hit the knife and judging from the path of the bullet, it appeared the knife had been in her hand.  The report concludes it was “not unlawful” for Holzhauer to use deadly force in this situation.

Holzhauer is suspended, until CMPD’s own investigation wraps up.  Police Chief Rodney Monroe says the department is looking at it from policy, procedure, and training perspectives. 

“We’re doing a really deep dive throughout not only this incident, but all uses of force incidents so that we can truly learn from them,” says Monroe.    

It’s the second time Holzhauer has fatally shot and killed a suspect in the line of duty. The first shooting occurred in 2012, as an armed man wrestled with another officer.