CMPD: Case of man fatally shot by US Marshal on birthday handed over to district attorney’s office

Frankie Jennings
Frankie Jennings(WBTV)
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 7:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The case of a man who was shot and killed by a US Marshal on his birthday in Charlotte has been handed over to the district attorney’s office.

On May 6, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed they turned the case over to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office earlier in the week.

CMPD was previously leading this investigation and said they would present their evidence to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office for a decision on if any charges will be made against the officer.

Back in late March, CMPD wasn’t ready to disclose all of the details or evidence that led to the broad daylight fatal shooting of Frankie Jennings outside of a gas station near Parkwood Avenue and The Plaza in east Charlotte on his 32nd birthday.

Police said it was too early for them to say what evidence they have and what evidence they’re missing.

“We are not prepared to discuss the particulars of what evidence we do and don’t have at this time,” CMPD Capt. Joel McNelly said. “But I can tell you we’re investigating every piece of it.”

McNelly said Jennings had six Charlotte-based warrants: two for possession of a firearm by a felon, and breaking and entering, discharging a firearm within city limits, assault on a female, and damage to property, according to The Charlotte Observer. Jennings also had six traffic warrants and one for marijuana possession in York County, S.C.

The Observer said those warrants against Jennings are in addition to three that had come out of Carolina Beach, south of Wilmington.” Carolina Beach police Detective Sgt. Scott Hettinger told the Observer the three warrants were sworn out by the department on March 5.

The department charged Jennings with three felonies stemming from a confrontation the day prior: assault with a deadly weapon against a government official, fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle and reckless driving to endanger, the Observer reports.

Jennings’ family, some from out of state, visited him for his birthday. They are wondering why he had to die.

The family held a press conference outside the Den’s Mart gas station demanding answers.

Frankie’s two sisters spoke and said they want to know why the officer said he felt threatened and if there’s any body-worn camera video of the shooting.

“My brother, go try and celebrate his birthday. What threat did he give? Sitting there, whatever he was doing? We want to know, what threat did he give,” said Jennings’ sister Kesha Leak.

Officers with the United States Marshals Service - Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force (CRFTF) were reportedly trying to arrest Jennings with several outstanding warrants.

During the warrant service, Deputy Marshals made contact with Jennings. Officials say one of the deputies perceived a lethal threat and fired a service weapon, striking Jennings.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a gun was also recovered. Police would not say where that gun was found.

“He was a father, he was a son, he was a brother, he was an uncle,” said Latannya Jennings, Jennings’ other sister. “So, y’all took an innocent life, for what?”

Police did not elaborate on what the warrants were or where the gun was located at the scene. The name of the deputy marshal was also not released.

No officers with the CRFTF were injured during this incident, and the police department specifically noted that CMPD officers were not involved in this incident.

A vigil was held in late March at the same spot Jennings was killed. The NAACP said it will continue to push for answers. The family is in the process of hiring an attorney.

“All around the peripheral, there are surveillance cameras,” said Corinne Mack, President of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of the NAACP. “We want them pulled because we want the truth to come out.”

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