Officer charged with manslaughter after death of former FAMU football player

Detectives in Charlotte, N.C., have charged an officer with voluntary manslaughter after he shot a former Florida A&M football player multiple times early Saturday morning, police said.

Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department charged Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter, which, in North Carolina, “is committed in the exercise of imperfect self-defense when a person used excessive force in self-defense or is an aggressor without murderous intent.”

They obtained a warrant for Kerrick’s arrest Saturday, and he turned himself into the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. But, according to the sheriff’s office, he has since been released on $50,000 bond.

Jonathan Ferrell, 24, was unarmed when he approached three officers, possibly seeking help for a car that was involved in an accident. Police said after Officer Thornell Little unsuccessfully tasered Ferrell, Kerrick fired several rounds, striking Ferrell multiple times. He was pronounced dead on scene.

Ferrell played safety for FAMU in 2009 and 2010. Interim Athletic Director Michael Smith said the university is deeply saddened to hear about the loss of a former student-athlete.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family during their time of bereavement,” he said.

Hickory Grove Division patrol officers were dispatched to a breaking and entering call at a home in the 7500 block of Reedy Creek Road after a woman called 911 around 2:30 a.m., according to police. She reportedly called authorities after discovering whom she believed to be her husband returning from work was someone else.

According to a media release from CMPD, “the subject stood outside the door for a time and continued to attempt to gain the attention of the homeowner,” which authorities believe may have been Ferrell’s attempt to seek help for his car.

Willie Ferrell, Jonathan’s brother, released a statement via Twitter on Saturday at 7:17 p.m.

“The Ferrell family ask nobody try to do n interview with nobody about my brother Jon just pray for us n give us peace n let us get past this,” it read.

Each officer present during the incident Kerrick, Little and Officer Adam Neal  has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the shooting investigation.

CMPD released a statement late Saturday, saying, “This is a very unfortunate incident and it has devastated a family as well as caused a great deal of sadness and anxiety in our organization.

“However we must always strive to bring forth all the facts and evidence in every case to determine when it is appropriate to place criminal charges against a member of the department.”