CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting on Christmas Eve at Northlake Mall.
The call of a shooting at the mall, located on Northlake Drive came in at 2:10 p.m. Thursday near the entrance of Journey's shoe store.
Police said evidence gathered at the scene is indicating that two groups of people who had a history of feuding encountered each other inside the mall and got in to an altercation.
Police said the altercation escalated when Daquan Antonio Westbrook fired a gun.
Westbrook,18, was a rapper who performed as "Donkey Cartel" and a father-to-be according to a friend of the family.
While working off-duty inside the mall, police Officer Thomas Ferguson heard multiple shots and rushed to the scene where he encountered Westbrook.
According to witnesses, Westbrook turned and pointed his gun at the officer, who fired his service weapon.
Additional officers who were working off-duty in the mall arrived and immediately began rendering aid to Westbrook.
Medics later pronounced Westrbook dead at the scene.
Detectives with the Homicide/ADW Unit are currently interviewing several witnesses and asking anyone with additional information to call Crime Stoppers.
Following standard procedure with any officer-involved shooting, the Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct an investigation to determine whether or not CMPD policies and procedures were adhered to during the course of the incident.
Per department protocol, Ferguson has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the shooting investigation.
Ferguson has been employed with the department since July 31, 1996, and is currently assigned to the North Division.
Channel 9 uncovered Westbrook was arrested 11 times since 2013.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts spoke to Channel 9 Friday at a community Christmas lunch.
“We will continue to expand our community policing. We’ll continue to work to make sure families are safe no matter where they are this holiday season and all the time,” Roberts said.
Roberts said she feels for the families and the people who were there at the time of the shooting.
Emergency crews were responding to the Northlake Mall after an officer-involved shooting on Christmas Eve.
Officers and paramedics were called to the mall off of W.T. Harris Boulevard in north Charlotte just after 2 p.m. and Channel 9 viewers said they could hear shots being fired inside the mall.
Paramedics said they were treating one person with a leg injury and a woman who went into labor. MEDIC transported one person with minor injuries to Novant Huntersville.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said that an argument inside the mall between two people led to the shooting.
CMPD told Channel 9 that officers who were working off-duty at the mall arrived and shot and killed an armed man.
No officers were injured and police said this was not an active shooter situation.
Channel 9 reporter Jason Stoogenke said he saw more than 30 police cruisers at the mall and more were still arriving.
Three separate witnesses told him that two people were involved in a fight inside a shoe store when one pulled a gun and shot the other.
Witnesses said police confronted the gunman and told him to drop his weapon, and when he did not, officers shot that person.
Channel 9 spoke with a football coach who was inside the mall when the shots rang out. He said he heard pops that sounded like gunfire.
He then saw a stampede of people and heard screaming before he was ushered into a back room of a store in the mall.
A Channel 9 employee was shopping at the mall when the shooting happened. Don Afari was inside the Dick's Sporting Goods when he heard the shots. He said people then began running out the doors.
Channel 9 spoke with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts by phone after the shooting.
“I think we should all be shocked and concerned when there is gun violence in our community,” she said. “I was at Northlake Mall yesterday myself and there are many areas of our community where people pass by every day that they need to be aware of it, that public safety is everyone’s concern.”
The public is being asked to go to the AMC parking lot to be reunited with lost family members.
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