North Carolina

Man shot by Raleigh police had a knife, radio traffic calls reveal

Raleigh police radio traffic from officer-involved shooting: ‘He’s armed with a knife’

An edited version of a 911 call and radio traffic released by Raleigh police from an officer-involved shooting on April 20, 2019. Calls reveal that the man killed in the incident, Soheil Antonio Mojarrad, had a knife.
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An edited version of a 911 call and radio traffic released by Raleigh police from an officer-involved shooting on April 20, 2019. Calls reveal that the man killed in the incident, Soheil Antonio Mojarrad, had a knife.

The 30-year-old man shot and killed by Raleigh police Saturday night had pulled out a knife, according to an officer’s radio traffic released Monday.

The officer can be heard breathing hard into the radio. He asks for an ambulance and says: “Suspect down. Suspect is down.”

Raleigh police released four audio clips of 911 calls and radio traffic among first-responders, providing some of the first details of what led to the fatal shooting of Soheil Antonio Mojarrad.

Police have provided little information about the incident, which took place in the 1000 block of North Rogers Lane, in a shopping center anchored by a Food Lion. Police were called there shortly after 8:30 p.m.

Soheil Antonio Mojarrad was charged Jan. 26, 2019, with simple assault. CCBI

Police said the department’s Internal Affairs Unit and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident, which is standard procedure in such incidents.

“We will not provide further comments until the Five Day report is released,” Raleigh police said Monday on Twitter. The five-day report is a document that provides an initial summary of events after a fatal police shooting.

On Monday night, WRAL reported that Mojarrad’s parents said he suffered from both a traumatic brain injury and mental illness.

In 2012, the Mountain Xpress in Asheville reported Mojarrad suffered potentially life-threatening injuries after he fell off the sidewalk into the street and was struck by a truck, according to a link in the WRAL story. His parents had reported him missing the day before, according to the report.

Family, friends and activists mourn Soheil Antonio Mojarrad, 30, who died in a fatal encounter with a Raleigh police officer Saturday night in an officer-involved shooting near New Bern Avenue.

Camera not activated

Police have identified the officer involved in the shooting as W.B. Edwards. He was wearing a body camera that hadn’t been activated, the department said in a news release.

The officer in the audio provided by police isn’t identified.

In another audio recording, a security guard at a nearby Sheetz called 911 about 8:30 p.m. He said a man who had trespassed earlier on the property was back but that no one was in danger.

The dispatcher asked whether the man had mentioned weapons. The security officer said no.

The Sheetz gas station is at the intersection of New Bern Avenue and North Rogers Lane, on the edge of the shopping center.

Minutes later, an officer said over the radio, “Multiple shots fired.”

Raleigh police have identified the man killed in an officer-involved shooting Saturday night on Rogers Lane. Police officials say Soheil Antonio Mojarrad, 30, was killed in a shooting with officer W.B. Edwards of the Raleigh Police Department.

The Raleigh police body-worn cameras policy indicate cameras should be activated “as soon as feasible during all contacts involving actual or potential violations of the law,” such as traffic stops and arrests.

Procedures also call for body camera activation during “calls involving subjects experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis” and “involving weapons or violence” and other situations.

Fundraising started

A friend of Mojarrad has started a GoFundMe account to raise money for his family.

“Soheil was a great person as well as a good friend always offering his assistance or optimistic opinion,” wrote the friend, identified on the fundraising site as Aaron R.

Court records show Mojarrad has a history of misdemeanor arrests in Wake County dating back to 2009, including simple assault, misdemeanor larceny and second-degree trespassing.

Mojarrad was convicted of a drug paraphernalia charge in 2012 and sentenced to probation, prison records show.

He had a May 1 court date in Wake County on charges of resisting a public officer and public disturbance, according to court records.

The most recent arrest was for simple assault in January. It came at 1030 Rogers Lane, which is the address for the shopping center where Mojarrad was killed.

Here are some other incidents involving Mojarrad:

In an affidavit of indigency for a Feb. 12 court date, Mojarrad asked for and was assigned a public defender. He listed “Medical Disability” as his only source of income, saying he had no monthly income.

In an August 2018 incident, Mojarrad was charged with assaulting and striking a Cary police officer, records show. The officer was trying to detain Mojarrad for a medical evaluation, the citation read. The officer’s notes say Mojarrad “is more interested in treatment than conviction” and that he “thinks [Mojarrad] needs help.”

One year earlier, Mojarrad missed a court date after being charged with possessing drug paraphernalia. He wrote in court documents that he “had missed my medication and had a medical emergency,” as his reason for missing court in August 2017.

Between 2012-16, several charges including driving offenses, disorderly conduct, communicating threats and resisting a public officer were dismissed.

Following a December 2011 speeding citation, Mojarrad missed his January 2012 court date while being treated at Holly Hill Hospital, according to a letter included in court documents.

In a July 2011 criminal deferral agreement, Mojarrad was directed to have a mental health assessment and comply with recommended treatment and to “take all psychiatric meds as recommended by a psychiatrist.”

Staff writer Joe Johnson contributed to this report.

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