Initial autopsy reports reveal that former Florida A&M University football player Jonathan Ferrell was shot by police 10 times early Saturday when he attempted to get help after crashing his car.
Police said Monday that officer Randall Kerrick fired 12 times at 24-year-old Jonathan A. Ferrell early Saturday while responding to a breaking and entering call. Ten of the bullets hit the former FAMU football player.
The mother of the unarmed 24-year-old is now speaking out.
“I expected my son to bury me, not for me to bury him,” Georgia Ferrell said during a late-morning news conference, adding that her son was “a great guy, a very successful man.”
Ferrell spoke to media about her beloved son Jonathan, 24, who had come to Charlotte to further his education and improve his life. He was recently engaged and was working two jobs to save money.
Instead, Jonathan was shot dead after police say he charged them early Saturday as they responded to a suspected burglary. In reality, Jonathan had just crashed his vehicle and in an attempt to search for help, he knocked on the door of a nearby house.
The police department charged Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter, but Christopher Chestnut, the attorney representing the family, has some questions about the department’s “shoot-first, ask-questions-later” policy.
Chestnut also said he wonders about the possible role of race in the shooting.
“The officer is white, Mr. Ferrell is black,” he said. “This might be more of a reflection of where we are as a country.”
But he added later, “Before rushing to assign race to this event, we should deal with the issue of violence in this country. That might be the real issue here.”
His mother, distraught about her great loss, said she forgives the officer who shot her son, but mentioned that he should be removed from his post.
Georgia Ferrell, clutching a yellow Winnie the Pooh bear that she said belonged to Jonathan when he was a child, said her faith in God has allowed her to forgive the person who shot her son.
“I forgive him,” she said. “I just hope he gets off the force.”
She added, “He took a piece out of my heart that can never be put back. A piece of me is gone.”
Kerrick is expected in court on Tuesday. He was released on Saturday on a $50,000 bond.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest in this tragic case.