On Monday, December 27, 2021, officers were dispatched to a Larceny from Vehicle in progress call for service in the 6100 block of Winged Elm Court. The caller also advised that the suspect had pointed a firearm at a nearby citizen. Responding officers made contact with the suspect, who fled on foot. At the time, it was not known that the suspect was a juvenile. During a brief foot chase, the armed suspect fired at the pursuing officer, Elliott Whitley, striking Whitley in the shoulder. Officer Whitley returned fire and the suspect was not struck. The suspect continued to run with the weapon towards a heavily populated apartment complex as well as in the direction of other responding officers who were able to take the suspect into custody.
Officer Whitley was transported to an area hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was later identified as a 14-year-old who had an extensive felony history including charges in 46 criminal cases dating back as far as 2014.
The CMPD Homicide Unit responded to the scene to lead the investigation, and Crime Scene Investigation responded to collect physical evidence. Representatives of the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Homicide Prosecution Team also responded to assist.
As is standard procedure with any officer-involved shooting, the Internal Affairs Bureau conducted a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were adhered to during the incident.
The investigation determined that Officer Whitley was justified in his actions, including returning fire, due to the deadly threat posed by the suspect.
Officer Whitley was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard policy whenever an officer discharges a service weapon. For additional information about this case, please refer to the report: 20211227-0720-01.
Below is a link to a critical incident briefing video breaking down BWC footage & explaining the incident in greater detail:
You can view the full body-worn camera video here: https://youtu.be/Y5QBcSBG-sg