Charlotte man fatally shot by state trooper had hearing impairment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A man who was shot and killed by a North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper in northeast Charlotte Thursday following a car chase had a hearing and speech impairment, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report.

UPDATE: Deaf man’s family says he was unarmed when killed by trooper

The incident happened around 6:45 p.m. on Seven Oaks Drive near Rocky River Road. Officials from the State Highway Patrol said that shortly after 6 p.m. troopers tried to stop a Volvo on I-485 near the 30-mile marker for a speeding violation.

(WBTV)
See photos of Harris and the scene

A seven-mile chase led the vehicles to Seven Oaks Drive. Troopers said the driver, later identified as 29-year-old Daniel Kevin Harris, got out of the vehicle, and that led to an encounter where a shot was fired. Harris died at the scene.

The State Bureau of Investigation identified Harris and the trooper involved, North Carikuba State Trooper Jermaine Saunders, Friday afternoon.

UPDATE: Deaf man’s family says he was unarmed when killed by trooper

From WBTV’s Sky3, multiple emergency crews could be seen in the area after the shooting. Officers had multiple large areas roped off, closing down several roadways around the scene.

Neighbors in the Seven Oaks community were surprised to learn that the deadly shooting had unfolded in their community.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking to come home and have half of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on the street along with four or five state troopers,” explained Neighbor Rick Kralik Thursday night.

“The Highway Patrol car came down across here. He was kind of smoking real bad, and then he stopped over here, and then a few minutes later, I heard a gunshot,“ another neighbor, Mark Barringer, said. “I saw a body on the street, and it looked like he was dead.”

Neighbor Ryan Russell said he had noticed Harris’ disability.

“I saw him out in the neighborhood signing with his family,” Russell said. “It seemed like a very peaceful family. These things are always heartbreaking.”

Russell is also asking neighbors to keep the family in their thoughts.

“I’m already trying working on trying to get people to reach out to this family, because no matter this guy did, the family is hurting because they lost one of their loved ones,” he said.

Neighbor Pat Johnson, who lives just around the corner from the scene of the shooting, is asking for the same.

“I asked everybody to keep them in prayer,” Johnson said, “not just for them, but for the entire community, because it’s a rough time for them.”

Officials said Trooper Saunders was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting.

SBI officials said Friday they were in the process of obtaining all available dash cam and body camera video from SHP as well as CMPD.

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