DA: No charges against CMPD officer who shot, killed woman

DA says no charges filed against CMPD officer who shot, killed woman

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County District Attorney announced Thursday that a CMPD officer's fatal shooting of a woman was "not unlawful."

Officer A.J. Holzhauer shot and killed Janisha Fonville on Feb. 18 at an apartment off Bellefonte Drive, police said.

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In the report, prosecutors concluded it was "undisputed from the witnesses" that Fonville had a knife, and charged at Holzhauer at the apartment. 

In recorded statements just after shooting, Holzhauer told detectives Fonville had the knife and "raised her hand up above her head and then lunged at me."

He also said, "When her body was within a half a foot of me I fired," documents said.

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In the report, investigators released photos of the knife that they say Fonville was holding. Attorney James Wyatt said the evidence leaves little in question.

"The evidence, witness statements is very consistent with the physical evidence," Wyatt said. 

But there are still questions about Holzhauer's history. In two-and-a-half years, he fired his weapon two additional times. 

Once was returning fire on suspects that fired first. Another was shooting a suspect in an armed robbery who reached for a gun. 

Holzhauer was cleared but Fonville's neighbors and friends say it's too much. 

"Three shootings all ready, three shootings already and now you're getting off with another one," Brown said. 

"It was his choice to take her life or not," said neighbor Sahvohnya Hughes.

CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe said the internal investigation into Holzhauer, which is still active, could take more time. They could still determine he violated CMPD policies or directives with his actions. 

"We're doing a really deep dive not only for this incident, but for all uses of force incidents, where we can truly learn from them," Monroe said.

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