DA: Deadly force justified in fatal shooting of armed robbery suspect by CMPD officer

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg District Attorney's Office has ruled that deadly force was justified in the fatal shooting of an armed robbery suspect by a CMPD officer in west Charlotte this January. 

CMPD released K9 Officer Timothy Kiefer's body worn camera footage on Wednesday, showing the moments leading up to, during and after the deadly encounter. 

The shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in the 1500 block of West Boulevard after Officer Kiefer confronted a man who fit the description of a suspect wanted in two armed robberies that occurred earlier that day. 

The first robbery happened at a church in the 300 block of Freeland Lane. The suspect, identified as Michael Daniel Kelly, reportedly pulled out a box cutter, cut the victim, took his car keys and drove off in the man's Infiniti.

Related: Officer shoots, kills armed robbery suspect in west Charlotte 

A short time later, another robbery occurred at the Family Dollar in the 4600 block of W. Tyvola Road. The suspect fit the description of the man involved in the prior robbery incident, and he left the scene in an Infiniti. Store employees said they believed the suspect was armed with a gun.

Around 2:40 p.m. that same day on Wednesday, Jan. 16, K9 Officer Kiefer found the Infiniti unoccupied in a shopping center in the 1500 block of West Boulevard. He was canvassing the area attempting to find the suspect when his K9 sniffed him out. 

Due to the graphic nature of the video, discretion is strongly advised.

A  witness told FOX 46 that CMPD K9 Officer Kiefer asked the suspect to show his hands repeatedly, but the suspect did not listen and then pulled what he believed to be a gun.

"He never said anything but he never obeyed the officer, he just kept walking -- walking toward [the officer]," witness Ron Straite said. "I mean, he acted like he was committing suicide that's what it looked like to me."

K9 Officer Kiefer says he perceived an imminent deadly threat from the suspect, so he fired his weapon, striking the man. The suspect, Kelly, was taken to Atrium Health where he was declared dead.

CMPD said K9 Officer Timothy Kiefer has been returned to full duty.