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Police ID officer who shot man during SWAT situation

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have identified the officer who they say fatally shot a man who pointed two handguns at SWAT officers.

The officer has been identified as Olin Lester, who has been employed by the department since Sept. 27, 2000.

Lester is assigned to the Vice and Gang Unit, and is also a member of the department’s SWAT team. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the shooting investigation.

Police say they went to a home in the 2500 block of Penninger Circle around 1:15 a.m. Saturday after receiving a call about an assault with a deadly weapon. The home is about a half-mile from the intersection of Mallard Creek and Hubbard roads in the University City area.

Officers said no one at the home was hurt. But they said the caller, whom police did not identify, told police that he and his father, Lemuel Rufus Furr III, 59, had gotten into an argument. The caller said Furr shot at him before barricading himself inside the home, according to a CMPD news release.

CMPD said its SWAT team made several attempts to get Furr to surrender peacefully. Police said Furr repeatedly told officers “that he was not going to be taken alive.”

Police said SWAT team members were setting up a perimeter around the home when Furr came out of the house, carrying two handguns. According to police, Furr pointed the guns in the direction of the officers and began advancing toward them. One of the SWAT officers then fired at the man, striking him.

Furr was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police haven’t said why Lester pulled the trigger of his gun and the other SWAT officers didn’t.

Two investigations into the shooting are underway, including one by Internal Affairs to look into whether CMPD policies and procedures were followed. Detectives with CMPD’s homicide and assault with a deadly weapon unit also are investigating the shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS to speak with a homicide detective, or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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