PINEVILLE, N.C. — Editor's note: The video above was published March 8, 2021.
Pineville police responded Tuesday to a lawsuit filed by Timothy Rochell Caraway. Caraway was shot by police in February 2020 after responding to a call in which Caraway was accused of waiving a gun.
Caraway survived the shooting and was treated for serious injuries from the gunshots.
In the lawsuit filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court against the City of Pineville and the four officers involved, Caraway said he suffers "long-term injuries and trauma because of the Pineville Officers' use of excessive force."
The lawsuit says Caraway was walking to his grandmother's house when a woman driving by called 911 reporting a Black male was waiving a gun.
Officers Adam Roberts, Jamn Griffin, Nicholas French and Leslie Gladden responded to the scene. The lawsuit says the officers yelled "conflicting instructions to Caraway" including to drop the gun and to put his hands up.
"Caraway turned towards the officers, pulled the gun out of his right pocket, held it on his right side facing away from the officers, and started to drop it on the ground," the lawsuit says. "As he bent down on his right knee to place the gun in the grass, he was shot once by Officer Roberts with his assault rifle."
The lawsuit says Griffin repeatedly fired his weapons approximately nine times before Gladden and French warn Griffin to "stop" firing.
Caraway never fired his weapon.
Caraway is seeking compensatory and punitive damages "for the loss of liberty, extraordinary emotional pain and suffering, and injuries."
The lawsuit says Caraway continues to face "physical pain and injuries, inadequate medical care, serious psychological and emotional damage, loss of familial relationships, and loss of quality of life."
Pineville Police responded to the lawsuit Tuesday saying the department had reviewed the lawsuit.
"At this stage it is important to remember that our officers have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, and we are now at liberty to disclose they have also been cleared through a separate administrative investigation conducted by an outside law enforcement consulting firm," The Pineville Police Department said in a statement. "This is a difficult time for all of us and we are committed to doing the right thing. Our department supports and will defend our four police officers, who put their lives on the line every single day without question."
The Pineville Police Department released police body camera video in March 2021 showing the February 1, 2020 shooting.
Police announced in March that charges related to Calaway's alleged actions along the street, and for his interaction with law enforcement, have been dropped.
As was reported at the time, Caraway had been charged with seven charges related to the matter. The Pineville Police Department confirmed to WCNC Charlotte in March that the only charge Caraway is still facing is the possession of the stolen firearm.
As officers approached Caraway from behind, they saw him holding a cell phone, Pineville Police Chief Michael Hudgins said in March. Hudgins said it was "plausible" the officers initially mistook the phone for a gun. He said when Caraway reached into his pocket, for what was later determined to be an actual handgun, officers fired their weapons.
In portions of the video released by the Pineville Police Department, officers can be seen rendering aid to a bloody Caraway until Medic paramedics arrived a few minutes later. Caraway's handgun can be seen on the ground near where he falls.
In an effort to balance transparency in what is otherwise graphic content, WCNC Charlotte has decided to not show additional video beyond this portion because of the graphic nature.
Viewer discretion is advised for the following video, which does show the shooting. In this video, you will hear Caraway's initial cries and see some blood. You will also hear cursing.
Cell phone video recorded by a witness and shared with WCNC Charlotte in February of 2020, does show Caraway being lifted into an awaiting ambulance before being transported to Atrium Health's Carolina Medical Center.
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