Body cam video released in 2017 officer-involved shooting at Huntersville hospital

Body cam video released in 2017 officer-involved shooting at Huntersville hospital
(Source: District Attorney's Office)

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Body camera footage of a fatal officer-involved shooting at a Huntersville hospital in September 2017 was released Monday.

The shooting happened around 11:40 p.m. inside the Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center along the 10030-block of Gilead Road on Sept. 10. According to the Huntersville Police Department, the man, identified by the SBI as 76-year-old Joseph Charles Cook, fired multiple shots inside a room at the hospital before officers were called.

Cook then reportedly disappeared in a corridor and police began a manhunt.

While searching the area, police say they "encountered the man still armed with the gun." Officers said an encounter ensued and multiple shots were fired because they felt "threatened by the man's actions."

In the video released Monday, officers can be heard telling a man near a nurses' station just off camera to show his hands at least twice before multiple shots can be heard. Moments later, the officers give demands for the man to drop a gun then say the gun can be seen.


The District Attorney's office said a gun was recovered near Cook's body. He reportedly purchased the gun in 2011.

Cook was pronounced dead at the scene. The SBI said Cook was a Hurricane Irma evacuee and was traveling from Florida to New York due to the storm.

In mid-December, the DA announced that the officers "acted within the bounds of the law." According to the DA, "a police officer - or any other person - is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believed, and in fact believed, that he or another person was in imminent danger of great bodily injury or death from the actions of the person who is shot."

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Hospital officials say this was the first active shooter incident at the hospital.

The SBI identified the Huntersville police officers involved in the shooting as 32-year-old Michael Joseph and 27-year-old Travis Watts.

The officers who were involved were placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

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