SBI: Deaf driver killed in trooper-involved shooting

by: Alexa Ashwell, Mark Becker Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A state trooper shot and killed a man Thursday night following a chase that began on Interstate 485 and ended in a northeast Charlotte neighborhood, the Highway Patrol confirmed to Channel 9.

The man that was shot and killed was hearing impaired, police said. The family confirmed to Channel 9 that he was deaf. 

Family members told Channel 9 that the man is 29-year-old Daniel Harris.

Officials said that around 6:15 p.m., the trooper tried to pull over a Volvo that was speeding on the interstate near mile marker 30, but the 29-year-old driver would not stop.

IMAGES: Trooper-involved shooting in northeast Charlotte

The man then led authorities on a brief pursuit, exiting onto Rocky River Road and turning onto Seven Oaks Drive.

Harris must have seen the blue lights behind him as two troopers followed him for 6 miles on I-485, authorities said.

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When they reached the off ramp at Rocky River Road, the SBI said troopers deliberately bumped his car trying to get him to stop, but Harris kept going.

The Highway Patrol said a confrontation followed, and that was when Trooper Jermaine Saunders fired the fatal shot. 

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Residents who saw Harris after the shooting said they did not see a weapon on or near him, and the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed Friday they had not recovered one.

Some residents in the neighborhood where the shooting happened think that Harris didn't stop right away because he was deaf.

The SBI said they are still collecting evidence from the scene, including video from the troopers in car cameras.

The Highway Patrol said Saunders is on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

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