Charlotte, NC – Police released bodycam video on Wednesday of a shooting that took place when a man chased a police officer with knife (video below).
Police said the incident began early on the afternoon of Jan. 16 after Michael “Danny” Kelley allegedly committed two armed robberies within a few hours, WCCB reported.
Kelley, who had just been released from prison in April of 2018, first went into the South End Presbyterian Church on Freehand Lane and asked the pastor for information about Christianity.
Pastor Larry James told WCCB that he prayed for the man and then, as he was walking him out of the church, Kelley suddenly pulled out a box cutter and slashed the pastor’s face with it.
“After we got out the door, he turned and raised his hand and said, I’ll kill you. Give me your money, your wallet, your telephone and your keys,” James said.
Kelley stole the pastor’s car and a short while later, he robbed the Family Dollar store on West Tyvola, according to WCCB.
Store employees said Kelley had a small handgun that was mostly hidden by his hand and that he demanded everything that was in the cash register.
Kelley abandoned the pastor’s Infiniti at the Family Dollar and took off on foot, WCCB reported.
Shortly thereafter, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police K9 Officer Tim Keifer spotted the suspect in a shopping center parking lot off West Boulevard and Remount Road.
The bodycam video from the incident showed the officer stopped his car and got out to address Kelley when he found him.
The report released by District Attorney Spencer B. Merriweather III said Kelley emerged from behind a dumpster with one arm behind his back and the other raised at Officer Keifer, WCCB reported.
“I’m going to shoot you,” Kelley told the police officer before he began running toward him.
“He’s saying he’s gonna shoot me,” Officer Keifer told dispatch in the video.
The video showed the officer at first opened the back door of his vehicle as if to let his police K9 partner apprehend the suspect.
But then all of a sudden Kelley started running at the officer and his police dog, the video showed.
Officer Keifer opened fire in Kelley’s direction, but that didn’t stop the determined man and it didn’t appear he was struck by any of the bullets.
The officer backed quickly around his police car to get away from the suspect but Kelley was in pursuit.
At one point in the video, the police dog also appeared to be running away from the suspect.
That’s when Officer Keifer started shooting again, firing three shots at Kelley, who dropped to the pavement within 15 feet of the officer he was chasing, the video showed.
Kelley was transported to Atrium Health where he died, according to WCCB.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said a knife was found at the scene of the incident.
Records showed that Kelley had been arrested multiple times dating back to 2014, WCCB reported.
Prior charges against him included robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer.
The district attorney’s office later ruled that the shooting was justified because it would be impossible to prove that Officer Keifer was not in fear for his life when he fired at Kelley, according to WCCB.
Kelley’s family released a statement that said they did not blame the officer for shooting him.
“It is our belief at this time that the actions of Danny left the officer with no other reasonable course of action than to use deadly force to protect himself and the community at large,” the statement read.
Officer Keifer has been on paid administrative leave while an internal affairs investigation was conducted, which is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, WCCB reported.
Watch the suspect chase Officer Keifer in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content.