Tear gas deployed, officers hurt as protests erupt after deadly NC police shooting

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — Protests continued Wednesday morning following an officer-involved shooting that left a man dead in northeast Charlotte Tuesday night.

Hours after the deadly shooting, a large crowd had gathered near the scene in protest, sparking clashes with police and tear gas being deployed.


Interstate 85 was shut down overnight and reopened early Wednesday morning. Protesters moved to a Walmart on N. Tryon Street, breaking glass doors at the entrance.

Approximately 12 officers suffered injuries during the protests. Medic said Thursday they took seven officers and one civilian to area hospitals.


The shooting happened around 4 p.m. at The Village at College Downs apartment complex on the 9600 block of Old Concord Road. Officers said they were searching for a person with an outstanding warrant when they saw a man get out of a vehicle with a firearm.

When the man, later identified as 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, got back into the vehicle, the officers approached. The report states Scott then got back out of the vehicle “armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject.”

The officers said they immediately requested MEDIC and began performing CPR. Scott was then taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased a short time later.

Police said a firearm “the subject was holding at the time of the shooting” was recovered at the scene, and that detectives were interviewing witnesses to the incident.

“I don’t believe [the man shot] was the one with the warrants, but we don’t know if there was a connection,” CMPD Chief Kerr Putney told reporters. “At this point all we know they’re in the apartment complex parking lot and this subject gets out with a weapon, they engage him and one of the officers felt a lethal threat and fired his weapon because of that.”

The officer who fired the shot was identified as Officer Brentley Vinson. He has been with the department since July 2014.

A woman claiming to be Scott’s daughter live streamed the scene on Facebook for more than an hour after the shooting.

In the video, she said her father was unarmed when he was shot.

She said Scott was sitting in his vehicle reading a book and waiting for the school bus to drop off his son. In the video, she is heard saying police came up to him, yelled for him to get his hands up and broke open the car window.

She claims he was Tasered and then shot four times. In the video, she said her father was disabled, didn’t have a gun and was even scared of them.

The video showed tense interaction between the neighborhood and police as the police pushed the crowd back further as they widened their perimeter.

CMPD tweeted just after 10 p.m. that their Civil Emergency Unit was deployed “to safely remove our officers from old concord [sic]” after demonstrators surrounded officers who were attempting to leave the scene.

The department later tweeted “A CMPD officer has sustained injuries in an attempt to deescalate agitators during demonstration.” That officer’s name and the extent of those injuries has not been released.

Later, Charlotte Police said that “several officers” were injured during the protests.

At 11 p.m. large clouds of what appeared to be tear gas could be seen coming from the crowds of protesters after officers in riot gear were seen putting on gas masks.

As is standard protocol with any officer-involved shooting, the Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were followed and Officer Vinson will be placed on paid administrative leave.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved. 

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