CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A detective who interviewed the North Carolina police officer accused in the shooting death of an unarmed black man after a car wreck continued his testimony to start the trial's second week.
But Monday morning started out with a video recording being played of Randall Kerrick's interview with detectives. The recording took place just hours after Kerrick shot an unarmed Jonathan Ferrell in the early morning hours of September 14, 2013.
Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter in Ferrell's death.
Detective Edwin Morales began his testimony Friday. Morales interviewed Kerrick in the hours after the shooting. He presented physical evidence as well as excerpts of the interview with Kerrick. The jury in the case also watched a video of the questioning before court adjourned for the weekend.
Ferrell was shot and killed after he wrecked his car and knocked on the door of a house apparently seeking help.
In the video interview with police that was played for the jury, Kerrick said a taser deployed by a third officer on scene didn’t work and that Ferrell kept coming, setting his sights on Kerrick after Kerrick yelled at him to stop.
The officer on trial said he was backing up, but Ferrell kept coming toward him, and that’s when he fired at Ferrell. Kerrick said in the video interview, “The only other option would have been for me to turn around and run, and he was coming at me, and he was not letting up.”
Kerrick said he’s not sure if Ferrell pushed him or grabbed at him, but he fell on the ground with Ferrell at his feet. At that point, Kerrick says he saw that Ferrell didn’t have anything in his hands, but he says Ferrell was crawling on him, and he described feeling ‘a jerk’ at his own gun. In the video interview, Kerrick said, “My only fear when I was on the ground is that he was going to get my gun, shoot me with it.”
Kerrick said in the video interview at first, he didn’t know if Ferrell had a weapon. Morales testified that Kerrick said he didn’t actually see Ferrell reach into his pants, but he observed his hands down around that area. This was all before the first shots were fired.
Investigators say Kerrick fired 12 times, hitting Ferrell ten times.
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