An officer-involved shooting occurred on Christmas Eve at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina. At around 2 p.m. on Thursday, a reported altercation at the mall prompted an off-duty officer to respond. Two men were reportedly armed at the mall near the Dick's Sporting Goods store and had allegedly opened fire. When Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Thomas Ferguson arrived at the scene, 18 year old Daquan Antonio Westbrook allegedly pointed his weapon at the cop. Ferguson reportedly shot and killed Westbrook, who was pronounced dead at the scene. It's unclear whether Westbrook shot at the officer. As more information is released about the teen, many are also wondering who is CMPD Officer Thomas Ferguson?
Ferguson started with the CMPD on July 31, 1996 and had reportedly been working in the North Division at the time of the incident. The North Division is one of 13 zones that officers are assigned to. Ferguson's name does not appear under any Community Coordinators positions and there are no traces of him on the CMPD website, save for information released specifically about the Northlake Mall incident. Very little information has been released as to injuries associated with the shooting. The Novant Health Medical Center confirmed to NBC News that they had treated four patients with injuries associated with the shooting. One person sustained a leg injury, another person had an asthma attack, and a woman reportedly went into labor. Ferguson's quick response presumably may have prevented countless additional injuries.
Pertinent information from the CMPD press release about Ferguson's involvement is as follows:
As is standard procedure with any officer involved shooting, the Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether or not CMPD policies and procedures were adhered to during the course of the incident. Per department protocol, Officer Thomas Ferguson has been placed on paid Administrative Leave pending the outcome of the shooting investigation.
According to Charlotte, North Carolina news affiliate WSOC, Ferguson was reportedly working at the mall while off-duty at the time of the shooting. He reportedly responded to the scene after hearing gunshots. No additional officer-involvement has been reported and Ferguson was not injured in the incident.