CMPD chief: Officer shoots, kills armed man near Uptown

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed an armed man Wednesday night just outside of Uptown in west Charlotte, the department announced.

It happened at about 9:30 p.m. on Frazier Avenue at West Trade Street.

The shooting stemmed from a shots-fired call. The officer got to Frazier Avenue where they found 44-year-old Nicholas Demar Lopez, who started to walk away, Chief Johnny Jennings said in a news conference following the shooting.

Lopez matched the description of the suspect in the shots-fired call, a news release from the department reads. He had a firearm and “was pointed at the officer on one or two occasions,” Jennings said.

“The barrel of the gun was actually pointed directly at the officer,” he said. “There was other times when it wasn’t pointed directly at the officer but the opportunity was there.”

The officer, who police later identified as Officer Braylin Brown, repeatedly told Lopez to drop the gun, Jennings said. In the release, the department said Brown shot Lopez after an “encounter,” but neither Jennings nor the department shared any specifics about what exactly that means. Jennings did say Brown was believed to be in imminent danger.

Lopez was taken to a hospital where he died, Jennings said. Brown was not hurt.

A gun was found at the scene, the department said, but they didn’t say who it belongs to.

Jennings remarked that the community is tired of the violence, which is what initially prompted the police response in the first place.

“People are fed up with the violence in the middle of the street, and they took action to call the police. And that’s exactly what they should’ve done,” Jennings explained. “We never want it to end in this type of situation, but at the same time, we still have a duty to protect our citizens.”

The investigation is ongoing. The State Bureau of Investigation and the police department are both investigating the shooting, per standard protocol.

“I have to commend the neighborhood for at least calling us so we could come in and respond,” Jennings added. “Thank God no innocent person was shot and nobody was injured.”

By Channel 9′s count, this is the fifth CMPD officer-involved shooting that’s resulted in injury or death this year. Four have happened in the past three months.

This is a developing story, check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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