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No indictment for Charlotte officer who shot Jonathan Ferrell

By Dana Ford. Eliott C. McLaughlin and Ed Payne, CNN
updated 7:18 PM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Police officer Randall Kerrick was arrested in the shooting death of Jonathon Ferrell.
Police officer Randall Kerrick was arrested in the shooting death of Jonathon Ferrell.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "We thought it would be a day of justice," says family attorney
  • Attorney general says grand jury was missing some jurors
  • Prosecutors plan to resubmit the case to a full grand jury
  • Police fatally shot Jonathon Ferrell after woman called 911 to report home invasion

(CNN) -- A North Carolina grand jury has declined to indict Officer Randall Kerrick on charges of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell, authorities said Tuesday, but both sides vowed the case is not over.

The former Florida A&M football player was fatally shot last year in Charlotte.

"Today, our prosecutors learned that the grand jury that considered the indictment on charges of voluntary manslaughter was less than a full panel. It would be in the best interest of justice to resubmit this case to a full grand jury, which we plan to do as soon as possible," state Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement.

Chris Chestnut, an attorney for the Ferrell family, said family members felt hurt and betrayed because of the grand jury's decision.

"We are shocked and devastated. We thought it would be a day of justice," he said. "We're highly concerned that a miscarriage of justice is imminent."

He, too, said that he hoped for full grand jury.

Attorneys for Ferrell's family have filed a civil lawsuit connected to his death.

Hear 911 call that led to man's death

According to a complaint filed last week by Ferrell's mother, the family is targeting the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe and the shooter, Kerrick.

Kerrick shot an unarmed Ferrell, 24, in September after a woman -- home alone with her 1-year-old child -- called 911 and reported that someone was trying to break down her front door.

It was 2:35 a.m., and according to the lawsuit, the woman "does not understand that Jonathan may be injured and is in need of assistance and becomes frightened by his presence on her doorstep at such a late hour. She quickly closes the door, calls 911 for assistance and activates her home security system," the lawsuit states.

The woman told police Ferrell was "yelling for her to turn her alarm off" but never reported that Ferrell harmed her, made threatening statements, brandished a weapon or stole or vandalized her property, the lawsuit further alleges.

Police were dispatched, and Ferrell walked down the street to seek assistance elsewhere, according to the lawsuit.

Kerrick and two other officers arrived on the scene about 11 minutes after the 911 call, but Kerrick didn't speak with the woman, the lawsuit says. He instead tracked down Ferrell, who "never engages in any conduct which can be objectively reasonably interpreted as aggravated active aggression," according to the lawsuit.

"Defendant Kerrick, in direct violation of written CMPD regulations, fires 12 high-velocity bullets at Jonathan, striking him 10 times in the chest and arms," the lawsuit continues.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has called the shooting unlawful.

"The evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive," police said in a statement on September 14, the day of the shooting. "Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter."

Kerrick is free on $50,000 bond.

"We are confident that at the resolution of this case, it will be found that Officer Kerrick's actions were justified on the night in question," his attorney, Michael Greene, said in September.

D.A. recused himself from case

CNN's Rich Phillips contributed to this report.

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