CHARLOTTE — A man suspected in a north Charlotte shooting died from a suspected medical episode while in custody at the hospital, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.
Officers said it all started shortly before 2 a.m. Monday when several people called 911 after hearing gunshots. In a news conference Monday afternoon, Lieutenant Bryan Crum said a 911 telecommunicator even heard some of those gunshots while they were on the phone with a caller.
Police said they went to Featherstone Drive in north Charlotte after a caller said someone was trying to break into their home. Police said at the scene, they found an a handgun near one of the caller’s homes, and also saw that home had been shot into. They found bullet casings as well.
CMPD said with help from the community, officers found the person who was suspected in the shootings and break-in.
Police said the man, 32-year-old Jovontay Avery Williams, was suffering from a medical event and was behaving erratically. They said he seemed to be “excited in nature” and was not actively communicating with officers. They said he appeared to be stressed and delirious.
“He did not appear to be in full control of his faculties,” Lt. Crum said.
Crum said police tried to deescalate the situation and called for MEDIC, saying officers were concerned for Williams’ well-being. He added that while officers were there, Williams tried to break into another home on the same street.
That was when they put him in handcuffs, Crum said. They used a “‘soft, empty hands’ approach as detailed in CMPD’s response to resistance policy,” police said in a news release.
Then, Williams was taken to the hospital police said. Later, he was transferred to two more hospitals in order to get him more specialized care. But just before 10 a.m., Williams died, police said.
Crum said his death is considered an in-custody death because he was not allowed to leave at the time.
As standard procedure for all in-custody deaths, the State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case. CMPD is conducting a separate internal investigation. CMPD is handling the shooting case and the break-ins.
Officers added they found “suspected narcotics” near Williams at the scene.
Police said about 7 and a half hours passed between when they took him into custody and when he died.
(WATCH BELOW: Police investigating homicide after two people shot in northwest Charlotte)
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