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Lawsuit: Man was complying with officers when he was shot

CHARLOTTE (AP) — A North Carolina man was complying with police commands when officers killed him in a barrage of gunfire from high-powered rifles, according to a new federal lawsuit filed by his widow.
Amy Craven’s lawsuit says the actions by Mooresville police officers Christopher Novelli and Alex Arndt were excessive and illegal, The Charlotte Observer reported.
Four seconds after the officers ordered Chris Craven, 38, to get on the ground, officers opened fire, hitting him approximately 20 times at close range, the lawsuit says.
Both officers said they saw him “reach into his waistband with his right hand and pull out a pistol,” Randolph County District Attorney Andy Gregson said in summarizing the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, which found that the shooting was justified.
The officers responded to a 911 call on Aug. 20, 2020 from Craven’s eldest daughter, who said he had a gun and was threatening to kill himself. They found him sitting on the front steps and ordered him to put his hands in the air. He complied, but then began to lower his hands as he followed orders to get on the ground, according to the lawsuit. Four seconds later, officers began shooting, his widow’s lawsuit says.
“During those four seconds, Chris did not threaten any of the officers, did not approach or get close to any officer, make no attempt to flee or resist arrest, or make any hostile gesture or statement to the officers,” the lawsuit alleges. “A firearm was located several feet behind Chris’ body after he was killed. At no point did Chris pull out a weapon or gun (and point it) at any officer, much less point it at anyone, endanger or fire any shot at officers.”
Several shots went through the walls of the home, where Craven’s wife and children had taken cover. One hit a fire extinguisher, causing its contents to explode, the lawsuit says.
Amy Craven’s lawsuit also names the Town of Mooresville as a defendant. Patrick Flanagan, who is representing the town and the police officers, said in an email to the newspaper that he had no comment.

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