'He should be alive': Family of man killed by CMPD officer at Burger King speaks out

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The attorney for the family of a man shot and killed by a police officer outside of a north Charlotte Burger King earlier this year released a statement Wednesday, a week after the district attorney decided not to charge the officer who pulled the trigger.

The family of Danquirs Franklin said in a statement that he "should still be alive" and he died at the hands of police for "doing what he was told."

[PDF: Statement from family of Danquirs Franklin]

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Wende Kerl shot and killed Franklin, who was armed, in the parking lot of the Burger King on Beatties Ford Road in March.

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said officers responded to the restaurant after receiving several 911 calls from employees who said Franklin was acting suspicious and had a gun.

Franklin's family members said the district attorney released pictures of him inside the restaurant brandishing a gun. They said his actions frightened everyone inside, and he would have been charged for them, but he never fired the gun.

[PAST COVERAGE: CMPD officer won't face charges in fatal shooting outside Burger King]

According to the district attorney’s report, a female employee said Franklin threatened her, brought his 4 and 7-year-old children to the restaurant, hit her, chased a male employee and jumped on the counter while pointing a gun.

Family members described Franklin as a loyal and loving father who was upset over an "awful betrayal." They said that is the side of him that was not portrayed.

(WATCH BELOW: Attorney for Danquirs Franklin's family speaks about DA ruling)

According to the family's statement, the mother of his three children worked at the Burger King and was having an affair with a male co-worker. They said Franklin was so saddened by the situation that he "sought inpatient medical care."

"The investigation never uncovered the betrayal that so upset Danquirs that day," family attorney Luke Largess said at a news conference Wednesday.

The family said on the day of the shooting, Franklin went to the Burger King after learning that the mother of his kids had the man inside his home around his kids.

It also states that after the co-worker he tried to confront ran away from the restaurant, Franklin put the gun away and became "tearful."

By the time officers got there, Franklin was outside kneeling near a car with the store manager, who family members said he knew well after coming to the restaurant several times to let his kids see their mother.

The manager told investigators Franklin was praying with him.

>> WATCH BELOW: Body camera video shows the deadly encounter. Due to the graphic nature of the video, Eyewitness News has decided to freeze-frame the footage at the moment the shots are fired.

In the bodycam video, officers can be heard repeatedly telling Franklin to drop his weapon. When he reached into his pocket for the weapon, Kerl shot him.

Franklin's family said because he had already put the weapon away, the only way he could follow the officers' commands was to reach for it.

"The obvious command is to show us your hands," said Largess. "Put your hands up, and if he'd showed his hands they would see he didn't have the gun in his hands and that the situation would have been handled completely differently in that respect."

Kerl said when Franklin reached into his jacket and pulled out a gun, she feared for her life, her partner's life and the passenger's life in the car next to Franklin.

Putney said Kerl felt there was a lethal threat and shot Franklin at least once, killing him.

Franklin's death sparked controversy across Charlotte. Groups held several peace rallies outside the restaurant claiming the officer-involved shooting harmed the trust-building process with the community.

After months of investigation, District Attorney Spencer Merriweather announced in a 162-page report that he would not pursue charges against Kerl.

Merriweather said, "The state could not prove to a unanimous jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Wende Kerl’s belief that she faced an imminent threat of death of great bodily harm was unreasonable."​​

[PAST COVERAGE: Leaders call for calm after CMPD releases body cam video of deadly shooting]

In response to the DA's ruling, Putney said he respected the thorough investigation and believed it was objective.

Kerl has been with CMPD for 24 years.

The report revealed she has had to pull her weapon several times while working as an officer but the shooting of Franklin was the first time she fired at a suspect.

Franklin's family ended the statement by saying, "Whether the officer should have been charged is the District Attorney's decision. But Danquirs should be alive today."

Family members said they have not yet decided if they will file a lawsuit in his death.