CMPD Releases Video From January Officer-Involved Shooting Of Michael Kelley

Apr 24, 2019

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police released body camera footage Wednesday capturing a fatal officer-involved shooting from January.

Michael Daniel Kelley, 32, was shot and killed by CMPD Officer Timothy Kiefer in a parking lot off West Boulevard on Jan. 16. CMPD said Kiefer shot Kelley after the suspect ran toward him with what the officer believed to be either a gun or a knife. A knife was discovered at the scene.

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather said last month that his office decided not to seek charges against Kiefer, saying the officer was “justified in using deadly force” when he shot Kelley. Officer Kiefer is white, as was Kelley.

CMPD said Kelley matched the description of a suspect from two armed robberies from earlier on Jan. 16, and that Kiefer had recognized Kelley standing near a car that was reported stolen during a previous robbery.

The video footage, which is two minutes and four seconds long shows the moments surrounding the fatal shooting. The beginning of the footage shows Kiefer driving his police vehicle, the audio cuts in around the 30-second mark.

Around the one minute mark, Kiefer pulls into the parking lot and exits his vehicle. He immediately commands Kelley, who emerges from behind a dumpster, to “get to the ground” and “get [his] hands out from behind [his] back.”

Kelley walks forward with his arm raised toward the officer and says, “I’m gonna shoot you.” It is not clear if Kelley has a gun.

Kiefer radios into dispatch telling them, “Hey, he says he’s gonna shoot me,” before continuing to yell commands at Kelley. In total, Kiefer yells at least five commands at Kelley. The officer then lets the police dog out of the vehicle.

Kelley runs toward Kiefer, and the officer begins firing. Kiefer runs to take cover behind his police vehicle. Kelley continues to run around the back of the vehicle toward Kiefer.

The officer yells at the dog "Baco, get him,” while continuing to fire. He fires three successive shots hitting Kelley. Kelley falls to the ground.

The DA's Office says a knife was found at the scene.
Credit Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office

The end of video shows Kiefer walking toward Kelley’s body, which is lying face down on the ground. He orders the dog to loosen his bite on Kelley’s hand.

According to the DA’s report, 13 shots were fired and three of them hit Kelley — one in the abdomen, one in the neck and another in the chest.

The autopsy report said that “cocaine and cocaine metabolytes were present” in Kelley’s blood.

CMPD released the video on the same day the full footage from another officer-involved shooting is ordered to be made public. Tuesday, a judge ordered the release of the full 11-minute video of the shooting of 27-year-old Danquirs Franklin — which occurred at a west Charlotte Burger King in March.

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