Crime

Man holding hunting rifle fatally shot by CMPD officer in north Charlotte

Scene from Charlotte police shooting in Druid Hills

Cop involved shooting on Justice Ave.
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Cop involved shooting on Justice Ave.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer shot and killed a man who was armed with a hunting rifle in north Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

The shooting happened just before 1 p.m. when two officers responded to a suicide threat in the 1000 block of Justice Avenue, near Statesville and Atando avenues, police said. Justice Avenue is in the Druid Hills community in north Charlotte.

At least one of the officers perceived “an imminent threat” and fired at least once, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said at a media briefing at the scene. Police on Wednesday night identified the man as Iaroslav Mosiiuk, 25. He was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center.

A Facebook page that appears to be for Mosiiuk indicated he was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and attended Kiev Polytechnic Institute.

A relative first called police about the man potentially being suicidal, Putney said.

Mosiiuk was shot outside his home, one in a row of small, red-brick bungalows on Justice Avenue, a block from Druid Hills Park.

Police identified the officer who shot Mosiiuk as Officer Brian Walsh. He has been with CMPD since April 17, 2002, and is assigned to the Metro Division, police said.

Neighbors Andrew Bolden and Elton Hamilton said the dead man lived a few doors down and across Justice Avenue from his mother. Hamilton, who said he helped the man find a place to live in the neighborhood several months before, described him as a white male, 5 foot 10, in his mid to late 30s.

Bryant Funderburk, who lives about six houses down, said he had stepped out into his backyard as he readied to leave for his job at a barbecue restaurant just moments after the man was shot. He said he did not hear a gunshot but that he heard the man yell, “Help me, help me.”

Michael Caldwell, who said he has lived in the neighborhood for 50 years, said he heard the shot from a block away. When he walked outside, he said he saw police cars swarming to the scene. “They were comin’, man, I’m telling you. I thought the president was in town.”

More than a dozen patrol cars were in the area of the shooting, blocking off streets or directing traffic. Other officers could be seen seen in the front and back yards of the home where the shooting occurred. Dozens of residents from the neighborhood either stood in their yards and watched or made their way to stand near the police lines.

As is standard procedure in any case where someone is shot by police, CMPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were followed during the the incident. Per department protocol, Walsh has been placed on administrative leave.

Under a Supreme Court ruling that involved a Charlotte case, police are legally allowed to use deadly force if officers have a reasonable belief that they or others are in imminent risk of death or serious injury.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 704-432-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

This is the ninth CMPD fatal shooting since the start of 2015. In January, a CMPD detective fatally shot a motorist after the man left his vehicle with a handgun, apparently in an act of road rage, police said.

And last September, a CMPD officer fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in an apartment complex parking lot in University City. That shooting touched off several days of occasionally violent protests. In November, the district attorney exonerated Officer Brentley Vinson in the shooting.

Staff writers LaVendrick Smith and Mark Price contributed.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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