Crime & Courts

SBI: Union County D.A. to decide whether officer-involved shooting was warranted

The State Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting in Waxhaw and will turn over the results to the Union County District Attorney’s Office, SBI Special Agent in Charge Tony Underwood said Friday.

The district attorney’s office will decide whether the officer was warranted in shooting a man Sheriff Eddie Cathey has said ignored the deputy’s orders to drop a knife and continued to approach the officer.

Underwood identified the Union County sheriff’s deputy as Ralph Helms.

Underwood supervises the SBI’s nine-county Southern Piedmont District that includes Union, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties. He said the deputy fired one shot, which struck the man but did not seriously injure him.

In a news release, Cathey identified the man shot by the deputy as Kenneth Oneil Howie III. Howie was taken by Union County EMS to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte with non-life-threatening injuries, the sheriff said.

The shooting came after the deputy responded to a report of a domestic disturbance. The call for help reported that a man was chasing another man with a knife, the sheriff said.

The deputy arrived at about 11:15 p.m. and reported to dispatch that the man with the knife was approaching him in the yard and had ignored the deputy’s repeated orders to drop the knife, Cathey said.

“The officer was forced to draw his service weapon and fired one shot which struck Howie,” the sheriff said.

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