Rossville man dies after shooting in front of East Ridge PD
By Antwan Harris
EAST RIDGE, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) - Police say officers shot 54-year-old Charles Harvey after he approached officers stating he had a problem and showing a weapon at his waistband. It turned out to be a pellet gun.
"It was a silver automatic handgun tucked in his side. There was no way for officers to know whether it was a real gun or not," says Erik Hopkins, spokesman for the East Ridge Police Department.
Soon after, a round of gunfire erupted from Officer Sean Merriman and Lieutenant Clint Uselton.
"I got concerned and I decided to check on my patient and I could see they had the entire area roped off and something obviously occurred," says witness Phyllis Kyle.
Police aren't saying how many times he was shot, but Harvey later died from his injuries. Police believe the man wanted to die.
Investigators say both officers pleaded with Harvey and demanded he put down his weapon.
They say Harvey wouldn't listen and looked to be under intense pressure.
"He was definitely under some duress," says Hopkins. "We made attempts to get him to stop, saying, ‘hey don't go towards the gun or make any movements.'"
The two officers are on paid leave, which is standard and police say the man was carrying a note in his hand.
They are not releasing what the note said.
The TBI is investigating.