Police identify man they was shot by officer in Raleigh after requests to drop weapon

A Raleigh police officer is on administrative leave after he shot a 40-year-old man Sunday who refused to obey commands to drop a gun, according to a news release.

The officer fired one shot at Michael Anthony Hendricks Jr., who had a gunshot wound in his abdomen, according to the release. He was taken into custody and transported to WakeMed Hospital.

The shooting occurred in the 5200 block of Falls of Neuse Road in the Quail Ridge Apartments, police said.

Police say the Raleigh Fire Department was called to the complex about 9:18 a.m. for a medical-related call. There, they say they found a man who made “verbally threatening statements” toward them. They backed off and waited for Raleigh police to arrive, according to the release.

The officer — later identified as C.T. Melochick — arrived at the scene and was in the parking lot gathering information when the man came toward him with a gun in his hand, according to the release. The officer moved behind a patrol vehicle and told the man to drop the gun, the release said. The man refused to do so, according to the release.

Melochick fired one shot, “striking the subject,” according to the release. Police did not say where the man was shot.

The officer was wearing a body camera, and it was operational and recording at the time of the incident, the release said. Raleigh police have “filed a petition for the dash and body-worn camera footage,” the department said Monday.

Melochick has been working as a Field Operations Division officer since February 2017, according to his department.

“Pursuant to departmental policy, he has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” the release said.

The State Bureau of Investigation will conduct an investigation, which is standard protocol for officer shootings.

The shooting took place in a parking lot behind one the complex’s buildings.

Resident Freddy Acosta, who has lived in the complex about two years, said he saw the man point the gun at police. Acosta, 35, said he was working on his truck Sunday morning when he saw police arrive and then leave.

Later that morning, he saw a man outside carrying a knife, and swinging it around “like a ninja,” Acosta told The News & Observer through an interpreter.

Then he said he saw the same man with a gun. At first, the man was pointing the gun at him, Acosta said. When about three officers arrived, the man pointed it at the police.

Acosta hid behind a nearby truck during the shooting, he said.

Recent police shootings

The shooting comes a day after families and friends of three men killed in recent police shootings held a protest across the street from the governor’s mansion. On Saturday, they urged Gov. Roy Cooper to make a statement about the shootings to show support to the families, The News & Observer reported.

Most recently in Raleigh, Soheil Mojarrad, 30, was shot and killed by a police officer on April 20 at a shopping center in East Raleigh. A police report on the shooting indicated that Mojarrad moved toward police with a knife, The News & Observer reported.

Mojarrad struggled with mental illness that was compounded by a traumatic brain injury, his mother previously told The News & Observer. The officer didn’t turn on his body camera before the shooting, which raised concerns in the community and resulted in a change in the agency’s body-camera policy.

When Mojarrad was shot, the policy required officers to turn on their cameras at the beginning of their shifts but to use a standby mode until activating them, The N&O reported.

The policy revision, as of April 26, requires the cameras to passively record all the time. That means there isn’t any audio in the recording and the amount of footage recorded is contingent on the camera’s storage space.

Simone Jasper contributed to this story.

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Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.