CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police fatally shot an armed man in the parking lot of a north Charlotte fast food restaurant after he ignored repeated requests to drop his weapon, the police chief said Monday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney told Channel 9 that officers responded just after 9 a.m. to the Burger King on Beatties Ford Road, near Interstate 85.
Putney told Eyewitness News that employees at the Burger King called police after a man was acting suspicious and gave the employees an "uneasy feeling."
A 911 call from inside the restaurant shed light on the chaotic scene. Police said the initial call came in at 9 a.m. and lasted just over two minutes.
"A customer came up here and walked behind the counter to fight an employee," the caller said. "He's got a gun! He's got a gun!"
"What's he doing with the gun?" the dispatcher asked.
"He has a gun. He's pointing it at an employee," the caller said.
(Listen to the 911 call below)
A minute later, another person called 911, saying a man approached her car and appeared to try to grab something from his pants.
(Listen to the call below)
When officers arrived, they spotted the man in the parking lot outside the Burger King, near a burgundy Honda Accord, according to Putney. They said he was still armed and officers repeatedly ordered him to drop his weapon.
From Chopper 9 Skyzoom, dozens of police cruisers could be seen surrounding the fast food restaurant, which was roped off with crime scene tape.
(WATCH: Video of the crime scene from Chopper 9 Skyzoom)
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Putney said an officer, identified as Wende Kerl, felt there was a lethal threat and shot the man at least once. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police identified him as 27-year-old Danquirs Napoleon Franklin.
(WATCH: CMPD Chief Kerr Putney addresses media after officer-involved shooting)
"We get here, engage the subject, who is armed. There are multiple commands to drop the weapon, as we engage him outside in the parking lot. At some point ... one of the first arriving officers perceived a legal threat (and) fired at least one round, striking the subject," Putney said.
Witnesses told Channel 9 a man got into an argument with a female employee inside the restaurant before the shooting in the parking lot.
Putney said no officers were hurt.
Putney said there wasn't much doubt that the man police shot was armed.
"It was apparently pretty obvious because he was getting verbal commands to drop the weapon," Putney said. "At some point, there was a sudden movement and the officer fired the weapon."
Putney said officers found the suspect's gun at the scene.
Not long after a witness finished speaking to Channel 9, City Councilman Braxton Winston walked over to talk to her. Winston ran for City Council after becoming directly involved with protests following the CMPD shooting of Keith Scott in 2016.
He said his thoughts are with the family of the man who died and that no one should be killed, regardless of the situation.
Protesters were fueled by witnesses who said police shot the wrong person.
The police department tweeted that misinformation was being reported and clarified their position.
Members of the Black Panthers joined the group, not to protest, but to keep the peace.
"I came out here today to make sure to try to contain the situation of them starting a riot out here,” Aaron Harris said.
The shooting remains under investigation. CMPD said the Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate investigation to determine whether department policies and procedures were followed.
Kerl will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. She has been with the department since 1995.
The Burger King was reopened around before noon on Tuesday.
>> We first updated WSOCTV news app users with a notification just before 9:50 a.m. Monday about the shooting. Download the WSOCTV news app for your smartphone and get updates on this developing story as they come in.
Monday’s shooting was the second time a CMPD officer has shot and killed someone this year.
In January, police said Michael Kelley prayed with a pastor at a church, then attacked the pastor.
They said Kelley then stole the pastor's car and robbed a Family Dollar on West Tyvola Road.
Police spotted him on West Boulevard. When he refused to obey commands, an officer shot and killed Kelley.
Dozens gathered Monday night at the International House in Plaza Midwood for a panel discussion on building trust between the community and police. The forum had been planned for months but happened just hours after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed an armed man.
“You can’t begin to have understanding and dialogue and communication without a forum like this,” said Kevin Kendrick, president-elect of the Charlotte Dilworth South End Rotary Club.
Panelist Kristie Puckett Williams with the ACLU of North Carolina told Channel 9, “As far as the real intentional work that needs to be done to solve the problems that we talk about, a forum is not going to be an appropriate setting for that type of healing to happen."
The timing of the forum on police and community relations was coincidental, but organizers said it is clearly needed now more than ever.
“It was not the best timing for certain, but I think it helped to highlight the need for discussions like this and the need for us to continue," Kendrick said.
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