By Jane Wester The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Huntersville police ordered a 76-year-old Hurricane Irma evacuee to drop his gun before and after they shot him in a hospital hallway in September, according to video released Monday by the Huntersville Police Department. The gun is not visible in the video before the shooting.

In December, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather ruled two Huntersville police officers were justified in shooting and killing James Charles Cook, who was a patient at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center.

A nurse came to Cook’s room around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 and saw him pull a gun out of his suitcase, according to investigation records released with the DA’s report. She ran away from the room and was returning with a security guard when she heard a gunshot, the records said.

The security guard, who was unarmed, watched Cook walk out of his room holding a gun, records said.

The Huntersville officers, Michael Joseph and Travis Watts, responded to the hospital after hearing reports that a man had fired shots there.

On the video released Monday, filmed by Joseph’s body camera, Watts can be seen with a black shield and a gun.

The video showed the officers looking for Cook in the hospital and riding an elevator before they found him near a nurses’ station.

“Sir, show me your hands! Show me your hands! Do it now!” one officer said. Another voice said “got a gun” as shots rang out, creating a breeze that turned the pages of a binder on the nurses’ station counter.

In interviews with State Bureau of Investigations officials, Watts and Joseph both said they saw Cook point a gun at Watts before they fired, according to the DA’s report. The officers shot Cook just past the two-minute mark of the video, and Cook is not visible in the video before or during the shooting.

Officers continued to point their guns at Cook after shooting him.

“Sir! Put that gun down! Drop the gun … do not move! Do not move!” an officer said to Cook.

One officer, apparently concerned about the possibility of other attackers, told another to “check our backs and make sure nobody’s gonna shoot us.”

During the rest of the nine-minute video, the officers talked to colleagues about checking the rest of the hospital and keeping an eye on Cook’s gun.

“How in the world did he get a gun in a hospital?” one officer asked near the end of the video.

©2018 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

Your Account

Create or login to your account to enjoy discounts and rewards.

Wishlist
Shares
Share This
0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon
      Available Coupons
      admin20 Get $20.00 off $20 off your cart total.
      adminpromo Get 100% off Free item offered by the administrator
      Unavailable Coupons
      adminsubscriptionretiredfirstpayment Get $120.00 off First payment of retired subscription when paid and added manually.
      cabinfreeweek Get $315.00 off A free week (7 days) at the associated cabin in one contiguous stay at the time of your choice.
      freebassentry Get 100% off
      golfsponsor Get 100% off Free admission to the tournament with a golf sponsorship.
      jh$25 Get $25.00 off Jonathon Hall reimbursement for shirt he purchased that was too small.
      ldf1month Get $13.00 off Prorate an LDF membership for 1 month discount
      ntcvendorcomp Get 100% off This coupon entitles the user to a free vendor table at the NTC conference.
      retired10 Get $10.00 off
      retired60 Get $60.00 off This discounts your current year renewal $60 since you already pre-paid $60 towards your renewal for this year.
      spmtc Get 20% off Special 20% Off all Motor T's for a limited time!