911 Caller Shares Her Side of the Story

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Around 2:30 Saturday morning, a young mom who lives in an east Charlotte home woke up to someone she says was kicking and banging violently on her front door. Sarah McCartney didn’t want to go on camera, but invited WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty inside her home to talk. She says she was confused and thought maybe the person at the door that morning was her husband, in need of help.

She opened the door, which triggered her home alarm. When she realized it was a stranger, and fought to get the door closed, she says the man, now identified as 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, tried to enter her home. She says she feared for her life and her young son’s. McCartney says she got the door closed and called 911.

While she waited for police and spoke to the alarm company, Ferrell, she says, continued to pound on the door and yell. McCartney says he also repeatedly told her to turn off her alarm. She says Ferrell never said he was hurt or needed help.

She describes the incident as terrifying and says police took her damaged front door as evidence. Our camera captured video of a replacement door.

Before arriving at McCartney’s house, Ferrell was in a car accident several yards away. Orange spray paint marks where investigators tracked the path his vehicle took into the woods. After police arrived on scene, they say Ferrell advanced toward them. Officer Randall Kerrick fired 12 rounds. 10 hit Ferrell. Investigators later learned he was unarmed.

Neighbors drove by the area where the crash and shooting happened all day Monday. A memorial has been started for Ferrell. People have placed flowers, a sign, a picture, balloons, even a Care Bear.

“To me, as a parent, this was unnecessary,” says east Charlotte resident Sherri Mahlan. She contributed to the memorial. She says, “As a police officer, you should know what to do in that situation. And it didn’t happen.”

Long-time resident Ben Taylor wants to hear more from CMPD. He says, “We need to know the details so that we can sleep at night and feel safe.”

Kerrick turned himself in on Saturday. He is charged with voluntary manslaughter. He has a court appearance Tuesday.