CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A man killed by a state trooper in northeast Charlotte after a traffic stop escalated into a chase is deaf, according to neighbors.
Investigators say Trooper Jermaine Saunders attempted to pull over a Volvo on 485 for speeding. However, they say the driver, Daniel Kevin Harris, did not stop.
The chase continued off 485, to Rocky River Road exit, eventually ending at Seven Oaks Drive with both vehicles damaged.
"I was here in my driveway and I saw the highway patrol car come through and it was smoking really bad," said Mark Barringer. "About 10 seconds later, I heard one gunshot."
Barringer says when he went to take a closer look, he saw Harris in the middle of the street. He died just a few feet from his front door. Several neighbors have put flowers near where Harris took his final breaths.
"It was surreal, you just don't expect to see something like that," said Barringer. "When the gunshot went off, it was scary."
Detectives say Trooper Saunders and Harris got into "an encounter" before he fired his weapon. Neighbors say Harris' car spun out of control and was shot almost immediately after exiting the vehicle.
They say Harris was likely trying to communicate with the trooper using sign language before he was killed.
"They should've deescalated and been trained to realize that this is an entirely different situation, you're pulling someone over who is deaf, they are handicapped," said Barringer. "To me, what happened is totally unacceptable."
Trooper Saunders has been placed on administrative leave.
The SBI is leading the investigation. They say they will review dash and body cam videos from Highway Patrol and CMPD.
A YouCaring page has been set up to assist the family in handling his wake and memorial arrangements.
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