DA: Charlotte officer 'justified' in deadly shooting of rifle-wi - | WBTV Charlotte

DA: Charlotte officer 'justified' in deadly shooting of rifle-wielding man in March

(Ben Williamson | WBTV) (Ben Williamson | WBTV)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who shot and killed a man holding a rifle in March was justified in using deadly force, the District Attorney's Office announced Thursday. 

Police say officers came to the 1000 block of Justice Avenue just before 1 p.m. March 8 for a suicide threat. Police say 25-year-old Iaroslav Mosiiuk was standing outside of the home holding a hunting rifle. Putney said officer Brian Walsh perceived a threat and fired at least one shot at Mosiiuk.

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Thursday afternoon, a Mecklenburg County judge ruled in favor of releasing body and dash camera footage of the incident once CMPD redacts certain portions for privacy concerns. 

The judge said the video was "high quality with "good audio" and would offer an active representation of what he thinks occurred that day.

According to police, Mosiiuk's sister had called 911 for help, saying that Mosiiuk was acting irrationally, had not slept in days and was retrieving a rifle.

"It is clear from the accounts of people close to Mosiiuk and from the behavior that led to his death that the decedent was suffering from a severe mental breakdown at the time of his death," a release from the DA's office states. "She told the 911 operator that her brother was screaming that he 'didn’t want to live.'"

Officers Dezenzo and Walsh arrived in separate cars and approached the house. Officer Dezenzo knocked on the door and announced that he was a police officer, watching through a window in the front door. Police say Mosiiuk was walking down the hall toward the front door, armed with a rifle pointed at Dezenzo.

"Officer Dezenzo yelled, 'Gun!' and both he and Officer Walsh ran while Mosiiuk exited the house. Officer Walsh ran toward his patrol car while Officer Dezenzo ran in the opposite direction. A screen capture from Officer Dezenzo’s body-worn camera (BWC) shows Mosiiuk pointing a rifle at Officer Walsh while Officer Walsh ran for cover," a release from the DA's office says. 

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Mosiiuk's sister told CMPD that she began screaming at the officers, “please don’t shoot him,” “don’t kill him,” “he’s just being crazy,” “he doesn’t know how to,” and “I don’t think he found all the parts,” the sister reportedly said, referring to the "parts" of the rifle.

The DA's office says they now know the rifle was not operable. 

"Without having any certainty about whether Mosiiuk had been able to find the rifle’s reportedly missing part, it would be reasonable for any person who witnessed these events to believe his own life, the life of another officer and the lives of nearby civilians could be at risk of death or serious bodily injury," the DA's office said. 

Click HERE to read the full release from the DA's office. 

The DA's office concluded with the following statement in a release Thursday:

"While the death of Iaroslav Mosiiuk is certainly a tragedy, it is not a crime. Officer Walsh was dealing with a mentally ill subject pointing a rifle at him, his partner and nearby civilians. The officer’s decision to fire his weapon is justified under the law of self-defense. The evidence fully supports the conclusion that Officer Walsh was reasonable in his belief that deadly force was necessary."

Walsh is a 14-year veteran of the department and is currently assigned to the Metro Division. He is on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting.The Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were followed during the course of the incident. 

Police said both Walsh and Mosiiuk are Caucasian, but multiple people in the neighborhood told WBTV that Mosiiuk spoke with a Russian accent. 

"In this case, I have concluded that his decision was lawful and his use of deadly force was justified," a release signed by District Attorney Andrew Murray stated. 

No word on when the footage will be released.

If you have any information about this incident, call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a detective, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600, or visit the Crime Stoppers mobile website at http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.  

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