CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer is charged with voluntary manslaughter after shooting an unarmed man in an eastern Mecklenburg County neighborhood early Saturday morning.

Officer Randall Kerrick was served with a warrant around 8:20 p.m., said CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe. He was booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail under a $50,000 bond.

A statement from police said Kerrick used excessive force when he shot Jonathan Ferrell, 24, of Charlotte, multiple times.

Earlier, police said Ferrell had wrecked his car on Reedy Creek Road and run to a house in nearby Bradfield Farms for help.

Police said Ferrell had knocked on the door and the woman who lived in the home opened the door, thinking it was her husband returning from work, then closed it quickly when she realized it wasn't.

She then called 911 to report a man was trying to break into her home.

Officer Kerrick, along with two other officers, responded and encountered Ferrell about a block from the home.

The statement from police said the initial encounter was appropriate and lawful, but that Ferrell did advance on officer Kerrick before Kerrick shot him. Police did not detail whether words were exchanged, and public information officer Capt. Brian Cunningham said the case is still under investigation.

The statement said Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon at Ferrell.

According to CMPD, voluntary manslaughter is defined under North Carolina law as when a person is killed by another human being without malice.

The law says voluntary manslaughter is committed in the exercise of imperfect self defense when someone uses excessive force, but without murderous intent.

I believe that the investigation throughout the day, following the facts and evidence as it presented itself, led to this conclusion, said Chief Rodney Monroe when he announced the charges late Saturday night.

Monroe said his heart goes out to Ferrell's family.

This is never something easy to deal with, said Monroe. Never something easy for us to really quite grasp, but we're gonna rise from this as we've risen from other things, knowing we've done the right thing.

Two officers who were with Kerrick at the time of the shooting are on paid administrative leave, which is a standard procedure in shootings involving police officers.

Ferrell's friends posted their condolences on Twitter and Instagram Saturday, noting that Ferrell was a talented football player at Florida A&M University, and before that, had led the FAMU High School team to a state championship in 2006.

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