RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A man who was fatally shot by a Raleigh police officer on April 20 pulled a knife from his pocket and “repeatedly advanced towards” the officer before being shot, a preliminary report released by the City of Raleigh said.
Officer W.B. Edwards pulled into the Sheetz at 5200 New Bern Ave. to fuel his patrol vehicle. While at the pump the officer was approached by a customer and clerk who reported the customer’s cellphone had been stolen, according to the report.
The report says this larceny was captured on camera.
An employee of the store called 911 about a man who was trespassing.
Edwards, who was given a description of the person who stole the phone, began driving around the shopping center off Rogers Lane.
Edwards came upon a person who matched the suspect’s description and asked to speak with the man, later identified as 30-year-old Soheil Mojarrad, the report says.
Mojarrad began to walk away from the officer and ignored commands to stop after screaming obscenities at Edwards, according to the report.
At that point, Edwards told Mojarrad he just needed to speak with him.
Mojarrad reached into his pants pocket, pulled out a folding knife and flipped it open, the report says.
According to the police report, the 30-year-old raised the knife to head level and took an “aggressive stance” towards the officer.
Mojarrad continued to scream obscenities at the officer and “repeatedly advanced towards Officer Edwards,” the report says.
Edwards gave Mojarrad several commands to drop the weapon but Mojarrad continued to move towards the officer, the report says.
While ordering Mojarrad to drop the knife, Edwards shot him. Mojarrad fell to the ground with the knife still in his right hand, the report says.
The officer called for backup and EMS.
Medical responders pronounced Mojarrad dead at the scene.
Edwards was wearing a body camera during the encounter with Mojarrad, which police said lasted less than a minute, but the camera was not activated.
Edwards’ patrol vehicle was not facing the incident so it was not captured on the dash cam.
The report says cameras around the shopping center recorded the larceny but not the shooting.
Radio traffic released by Raleigh police appears to show Edwards reported Mojarrad was shot about three-and-a-half minutes after leaving the Sheetz.
Edwards is on administrative duty pending investigations into the shooting, which is standard procedure.
The SBI is investigating and will deliver its findings to the Wake County district attorney.
The Detective Division of the Raleigh Police Department is looking to the actions of Mojarrad, who had a lengthy arrest record in Wake County.
This story will be updated.