A Charlotte man killed by police in January fired several rounds at an officer taking cover behind a patrol cruiser and later taunted officers: “I just killed one. I can kill more."
The Mecklenburg District Attorney’s office released details of the shooting of Carlton Murphy, who was fatally shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Jacob Meadors. The DA determined the shooting was justified and lawful because “the officers and public were in danger of immediate death or great bodily harm from Murphy,” according to a memo sent to CMPD Chief Kerr Putney.
No officers were actually injured in the shooting.
Murphy’s death was the third time CMPD officers had been involved in a fatal shooting in a two-week period, after an officer-involved shooting at Northlake Mall and a shooting as officers tried to detain a murder suspect in west Charlotte. The DA’s officer determined that all the shootings were justified.
In the shooting involving Murphy, someone called 911 around 5 a.m. saying shots had been fired. When officers arrived, a person began shooting at them from a second-floor balcony, Putney said at the scene.
Officer M.T. Richter was the first officer on scene. He stopped his marked patrol cruiser near an apartment and rolled down the window to see if he could hear where gunshots were coming from. Moments later “he heard loud gunshots and heard rounds striking his police car,” according to the DA’s memo. He heard more gunshots and someone yelling “F--- the police” and saw the shooter duck back into his apartment.
Richter ducked behind his car, but the shooter apparently thought the officer had been injured. Richter could hear the man yelling at other officers: “I just killed one. I can kill more.”
Meadors responded to Richter’s radio message about being fired at and sped to assist the officer. When Meadors arrived, he heard several gunshots as he exited his patrol cruiser.
Meadors grabbed his rifle as he exited his patrol cruiser and found a location where he could better see the shooter.
“When Meadors had a clear shot where he could fully see the shooter, he fired at Murphy four times,” the memo says. “One of those rounds struck Murphy in the chest.”
The memo says civilians and other officers gave accounts that corroborated the officers’ statements.
Crime scene investigators who processed the scene located dozens of bullet casings apparently fired by Murphy. They also found a 100-round box of ammunition with 21 live rounds remaining. Several police cars were riddled with bullet holes.