CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The family of Danquirs Franklin, the man fatally shot by a police officer in a Burger King parking lot in March, released a statement Wednesday.
The statement details the events leading up to Franklin going to the Burger King on March 25 armed with a handgun, threatening employees, and chasing one man into the parking lot before he was shot and killed while kneeling next to a vehicle after repeated orders to drop the gun.
The family’s attorney, Luke Largess, spoke to reporters on their behalf at a press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after the statement was released.
The statement comes one week after District Attorney Spencer Merriweather announced that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer involved in the shooting would not be charged.
“Danquirs Franklin should be alive today. As those who knew him well, we were disappointed by the District Attorney’s assessment of the circumstances of his death, and utterly dismayed at the way in which Danquirs Franklin has been portrayed,” the statement begins. “The investigation never uncovered the betrayal that so upset Danquirs that day. And the public does not understand that when the police arrived, the situation had already calmed, several witnesses had seen Danquirs put the gun away, and his hands were clasped in prayer with the store manager whom he had just tearfully embraced before police arrived.”
The statement goes on to claim that Franklin was shot “because he followed [officers’] repeated instructions to reach into his pocket to retrieve the gun and drop it to the ground."
Both video and still photos of the scene - as well as surveillance photos before police arrived - have all been released.
The Mecklenburg County District Attorney responded to the family’s statement by refering the public to the report they released last week.
“We understand why a family who has lost a loved one would be disappointed with this decision," said the District Attorney in a statement to WBTV. "At this time, we will let the report speak for itself.”
The family’s statement goes into detail about Franklin’s mental state the day of the shooting, and what led him to go to the restaurant with the gun in the first place. Family claims the mother of Franklin’s children - an employee at Burger King - had recently left him after having an affair with a co-worker. Franklin “was so despondent at her actions that he had sought inpatient medical care,” the statement reads.
“On the day of the shooting, Danquirs learned from one of his children that the co-worker/lover had come to the house with the mother while Danquirs was at work and was sleeping with her in Danquirs’ bed. Learning of that betrayal is what set him off; he went to find the co-worker at the Burger King.”
You can read the family’s entire, unedited statement below: