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Police: Teen shot by officer had a knife

Spokesman says the youth refused to drop the weapon. He remains hospitalized.

By Ely Portillo
elyportillo@charlotteobserver.com

Two days after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot a teen while responding to a report that the boy's mother had been stabbed, officials said the boy was holding a knife when the officer fired.

Jeffrey Green, 15, was not involved in his mother's stabbing, police said, and another man was charged in the case. Police spokesman Officer Robert Fey in a statement called the shooting "a very unfortunate incident."

Valinda Streater said she told police officers that Green was her son and told them not to fire.

"I screamed 'That is my child, do not shoot him,'" she said.

The events leading up to the shooting began about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, when police were called to a home on Brandie Glen Drive in north Charlotte. They were told a woman had been stabbed and that her attacker might still be there, Fey said.

As Officer Matthew Wilson approached the house, he found Streater down the street with stab wounds. Neighbors on Sunday told the Observer she ran down the street yelling, "I've been stabbed!"

After speaking with Streater briefly, Wilson went to check on her elderly parents, who were still in the house.

"As Officer Wilson walked toward Ms. Streater's home, his attention was drawn to two subjects, one of which appeared very agitated walking toward him and holding a knife," said Fey.

In an earlier statement, police said Green was upset about the stabbing and had gone looking for his mother. Streater said Monday that her son was coming to look for her to make sure she was OK.

Police say Officer Wilson told Green several times to drop the knife, but that Green ignored Wilson's commands and kept walking toward the officer. Wilson feared for his life, Fey said, and fired his service pistol.

Police wouldn't say how many times Wilson fired his handgun, but a neighbor Sunday said he heard five shots. Streater said her son was hit three times.

The teenager ran, and was found a short time later behind a nearby house. Paramedics took him to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was still recovering Monday.

In the grass nearby, Fey said investigators found a 121/2-inch knife. They haven't interviewed Streater yet about why he may have been holding the knife.

Green's grandfather, James Streater, said Monday that his grandson is expected to recover.

"He's gonna be fine," said James Streater, 74. His daughter, Green's mother, wasn't seriously hurt and has been released from the hospital.

Officer Wilson, who was hired in 2008, has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard for officers involved in a shooting.

Police arrested Bruce Jenkins, 39, and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon. James Streater said his daughter and Jenkins had been arguing and that she was trying to end a relationship with him.

"She was gonna put him out, and he got hot behind that," James Streater said. WCNC-TV contributed.

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