The family of a Charlotte man who was shot and killed by a police officer on Friday says they need financial help to bury 27-year-old Charlie Shoupe.
Shoupe lived with paranoid schizophrenia and he was in a mental health crisis at the time he was fatally shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer Daniel Flynn, his family says. The shooting happened around 1:20 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of an apartment complex, on Timberbrook Drive, in west Charlotte.
CMPD says Shoupe charged at Flynn with a knife and ignored the officer yelling commands to drop the knife. A bystander video, filmed by Trey Massey and broadcast live on Facebook, shows Flynn arrive in a marked patrol car as Shoupe is walking around the parking lot, holding a knife, with firefighters standing by.
About 20 seconds after Flynn arrives, gun shots are heard in the video. The officer is on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.
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A Go Fund Me fundraising site, started by Shoupe’s cousin, says CMPD officers knew Shoupe was mentally-ill.
“The police were aware of his situation as they had been called there before and just in the previous days,” writes Candice Belle Saunders on the Go Fund Me page.
CMPD has confirmed officers were at the home the day before Shoupe was killed but have refused to release details about the Thursday 911 call.
Police records also show officers responded to 911 calls on Jan. 19 and Dec. 30 for Shoupe. In December, a police record states he was hospitalized and CMPD “Crisis Intervention Team” officers met him at his apartment before transporting him to the emergency room.
Crisis Intervention or “CIT” officers are taught non-physical de-escalation tactics to use during potentially violent situations. The training focuses on talking calmly to a person in a mental health crisis and not cornering them or moving in on them quickly.
The department says it dispatched CIT officers with special mental health training and they were en route to Shoupe’s home Friday afternoon. But, Flynn arrived just moments earlier. Flynn has been with CMPD since 2006 but has not gone through CIT training.
CMPD has said said first responders on the scene told police officers before they arrived that Shoupe had said he wanted police to kill him. Also, according to CMPD, first responders asked officers to step up their response because Shoupe had a knife in his hand.
Shoupe’s family is receiving burial and funeral assistance from the Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte but his mother needs an additional $1,100 to cover arrangements, according to Saunders.
His mother, Brenda Morris, has been out of work the past few years to be a full-time caregiver for her son, Saunders said. She said that the Go Fund Me fundraising is for $10,000 with the extra $8900 going toward Morris’s living expenses.
“She had to witness this horrible death of her son as they killed him in front of her,” Saunders wrote. “Any one with a relative with mental illness will understand ... Please keep her and my family in your prayers.”