DA: No Charges For CMPD Officer In January Fatal Shooting

Mar 26, 2019
Originally published on March 26, 2019 3:58 pm

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather said Tuesday that his office will not be seeking charges in the January shooting of a robbery suspect who was killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer.

In a letter to CMPD Chief Kerr Putney, Merriweather said his office determined that Officer Timothy Kiefer was "justified in using deadly force" when he shot Michael Daniel Kelley, 32. Officer Kiefer is white, as was Kelley.

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The department said Kiefer encountered Kelley in a parking lot off West Boulevard on the afternoon of Jan. 16. CMPD said Kelley matched the description of a suspect from two armed robberies from earlier that day.

According to the DA's statement, body-worn cameras show Kelley emerging from behind a dumpster with his right hand behind his back. Footage shows Kelley advancing toward the officer, refusing commands to show his hands. The DA's Office also said footage showed Kelley saying, "I'll shoot you" and running toward the officer.

That's when Kiefer fired shots at Kelley, the statement said. Casings show that a total of 13 shots were fired, with three striking Kelley. The statement also said investigators recovered a knife at the scene of the shooting.

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

Merriweather wrote that with camera footage of the incident and witness testimony corroborating Kiefer's account of the events, it would be impossible for prosecutors to show the officer didn't act in self-defense when he shot Kelley.