Spencer Rollins Mims III was the kind of man who would deliver brownies to neighbors or stop to have an hour-long conversation on their front porch, residents in his south Charlotte neighborhood remembered Monday.
Their description of their neighbor doesnt fit with what happened late Sunday night when police say Mims, 55, lunged at two officers with a box cutter and was fatally shot.
It just doesnt add up, neighbor Texann Lightner told a reporter Monday.
Two officers, including a 25-year veteran of CMPD, have been placed on administrative leave after the shooting, which occurred in the 300 block of Cooper Drive, near Tyvola Road and South Boulevard.
Police say the incident began shortly before 11 p.m., when officers who had made a traffic stop were approached by an older man who told them he was having problems with his son.
The man asked police to come with him to his home. Police say two officers from the Westover Division Jeremy Donaldson and Michael Whitlock were called to the residence. When they arrived, police say, they found Mims holding a box cutter to his own throat.
Police say the officers asked the man several times to drop the box cutter, but he refused. Whitlock then fired a stun gun at Mims in an effort to stop him from hurting himself.
Instead, investigators say, the man lunged at the officers with the box cutter. Donaldson fired his gun at least once, hitting the man.
Mims was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, where he died.
Police say Whitlock was been with CMPD since March 1987. Donaldson joined the department in August 2011.
The last fatal shooting involving a CMPD officer was in September 2012, when 26-year-old Clay Crawford McCall was shot and killed by police. His grandmother had called for help from her Ballantyne area home, saying she was concerned about McCall, who had a history of mental health problems.
Before that, a CMPD officer shot and killed 28-year-old Michael DeAngelo Laney in July 2012 on Crestview Drive.
On Monday, neighbors relived the confusion on Sunday night when police descended on their normally quiet neighborhood.
Lightner, a neighbor who lives two houses down, said she heard three gunshots around 11 p.m.
Lightner said Mims and his parents had lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years.
There wasnt a violent bone in his body, Lightner said. Its totally out of character that he would threaten his life.
Mims mother died several years ago, and Lightner said she would often see father and son hanging together outside.
They were very friendly, Lightner said. The dad would sit in a lawn chair, and the son would be outside with him. It was normal everyday stuff.
Next-door neighbor Martha, who declined to give her last name, said Mims would park his metallic blue Hyundai Genesis outside her house so that it would appear that someone was home all the time.
She said that unlike other neighbors who were too busy with their own lives, Mims made time to help neighbors and chat with them.
Lightner said Mims was a Dodgers baseball and NASCAR fan. His license plate read Dodgers32. He also wrote poetry, Martha said.
The last time Martha said she saw him was late last week when he was headed to the doctors office. He had the flu and told her that he would come by to visit with her when he wasnt infectious.
He was just a very loving, very caring man, Martha said. Im so sorry it ended this way for him.
On Monday, a person answering the phone at Mims house said they were not interested in discussing the incident. Then they hung up.
Arriero: 704-777-7070; Twitter: @earriero
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