CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - An armed robbery suspect who was shot by a police officer Wednesday afternoon died at the hospital from his injuries, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
The shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in the 1500 block of West Boulevard after a CMPD officer confronted a man who fit the description of a suspect wanted in two armed robberies that occurred earlier in the day.
The first robbery took place at 1:40 p.m. Police say the suspect went into a church in the 300 block of Freeland Lane and asked for money. When a man inside wouldn’t give him money, he pulled out a box cutter, cut the victim, took his car keys and drove off in the man’s Infiniti.
A short time later, police received a report of a robbery at the Family Dollar Store in the 4600 block of W. Tyvola Road. The suspect fit the description of the man involved in the prior 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., an officer found the Infiniti unoccupied in a shopping center in the 1500 block of West Boulevard.
Officers were canvassing the area attempting to find the suspect when a K9 sniffed him out. A CMPD officer made contact with the suspect.
A witness told FOX 46 that a CMPD officer 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."
The officer says he perceived an imminent deadly threat from the suspect, so he fired his weapon, striking the man.
The suspect was taken to Atrium Health by Medic where he was declared dead.
Another witness tells FOX 46 she saw the man before police arrived and knew he was up to something.
"He just looked concerned with the helicopters in the air, a little bit," the witness said. "I asked him, had he done anything wrong, and he said no -- and he was real calm."
The suspect's name is being withheld until family is notified of his death. The officer’s name is also being withheld.
As is standard procedure, the Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct an investigation, and the officer will be placed on paid administrative leave.
This is an active and ongoing investigation. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to Detective Dollar, the lead detective on the case, or another homicide unit detective. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.