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Former FAMU football player Jonathan Ferrell was killed early Saturday after he was shot by a police officer who was responding to a 911 call for a suspected "breaking and entering."
But police in Charlotte, North Carolina, believe that Ferrell was not an attempted burglar. Rather, the 24-year-old was just trying to seek help after a severe car crash.
The 27-year-old police officer who shot and killed Ferrell has been arrested. He's charged with voluntary manslaughter.
According to Charlotte's WBTV, Ferrell's car crash was so intense that he had to "climb out the back window." He then ran to the nearest house in order to get help.
Unfortunately for Ferrell, the woman who responded to the ex-football player's plaintive knocks assumed the person at the door was her husband. When she found out it was a stranger, she slammed the door shut and called 911.
Ferrell was still knocking when police approached the house, and according to a police statement obtained by CNN, Ferrell "advanced" on the officers, leading Officer Randall Kerrick to fire "several" fatal shots.
Just hours after Ferrell's killing, Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter -- a serious felony that could land him in prison for life, if he's convicted.
While no one disputes that Kerrick intentionally shot at Ferrell, there isn't likely to be a murder charge since unless the prosecution can prove that the officer had the unlawful intent to kill the ex-college player.
CNN reported that Kerrick was released Sunday on a $50,000 bond, meaning he is free from custody on the agreement that he shows up for his next court appearance, set for next Monday afternoon.
Ferrell's family and friends are devastated, and it may be a long time before they see justice -- either in civil or criminal court -- for his untimely death.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.