CHARLOTTE — A man accused of robbing a west Charlotte grocery store, then shooting at police on Sunday afternoon, has died after being shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers.
Kevin Boston, 45, died at the hospital a day after being shot in a confrontation with CMPD officers. Family members said he was a single father of three.
Police said they were called to the area close to the Food Lion shortly before 1 p.m. in response to an armed robbery call.
The suspect, identified as Boston, allegedly put items in a shopping cart and tried to leave the store without paying. An employee confronted the suspect, who lifted his shirt flashing a gun, police said.
He then left and pushed the shopping cart down Tuckaseegee Road when officers arrived, according to CMPD.
CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said the suspect immediately opened fire, hitting officers’ cars.
Officers returned fire, hitting Boston, who was taken to a hospital and later died, police said. No officers were hurt, CMPD said.
“I can say we’re very lucky, every single day when we have an encounter that involves a deadly force situation we can send these officers home,” Jennings said. “We have to make sure they are emotionally and mentally OK, but the bottom line is they get to go home to their families and that’s important. At the same token, you know we still want to pray for the individual who the officers shot.”
The suspect’s revolver was recovered by officers at the scene, CMPD said.
‘He wasn’t a monster’: Family members demand answers after man fatally shot
Family members told Channel 9′s DaShawn Brown that Boston was trying to get food for his family when the incident happened.
They said the narrative police shared describing what happened doesn’t fit the man they knew. Instead, they described a man who had a mental illness and was a father of three.
“Nobody .... even reached out. Not from CMPD to his family, and he has family,” said his sister-in-law, Billie Black.
Loved ones said they want answers.
“So, for me, I want video footage. I want to have cam footage, I want dashboard footage. I want the footage out of Food Lion. I want it all because then we can piece together and figure out those moments. What happened? What we could’ve done differently? What could CMPD have done differently?” Black said.
When Brown asked CMPD about the family’s claims that they were not notified, a spokesperson said they directly notified family members Sunday.
“They’re painting a picture of him being a monster. He wasn’t a monster,” his cousin, Mario Black, said. “A single father raising his kids. His son just graduated from Harding, June 15, last week. And a week later, his dad is dead.”
Nearby residents describe moments leading up to shooting
Connor Stirewalt told Channel 9 that the shooting happened half a block away from his home.
“We moved, like two months ago, so it is very worrying,” he said. “Especially given how close it is.”
Another resident said they had just gotten home from a trip to Raleigh when they heard gunshots.
“Well, I heard in the kitchen. The gunshots going off, and I didn’t know what direction they were coming from. It was a variety. I don’t know how many, 10 to 15,” Drake Blalock told Channel 9.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation into the shooting, and CMPD said it will conduct an internal investigation into the two officers who fired their weapons. Those two officers have been assigned to administrative duties pending the investigation.
(Watch the video below: Police: 16-year-old killed, another man hurt in southwest Charlotte shooting)
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