By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) - Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, fatally shot a man on Tuesday after he got out of his car armed with a gun as officers approached him, authorities said.
Local WSOC-TV reported that after the shooting, relatives of the slain man confronted police officers at the scene and a crowd of several dozen people quickly gathered to protest.
The incident came during what has become an intense national debate over the use of deadly force by police.
Officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were at an apartment complex searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant shortly before 4 p.m. when they saw a man get out of his vehicle with a firearm, public affairs officer Keith Trietley said in a written statement.
"Officers observed the subject get back into the vehicle at which time they began to approach the subject. The subject got back out of the vehicle armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject," Trietley said.The victim, who was not immediately identified by authorities, was transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he was pronounced dead, according to Trietley.
Police did not immediately say if the man killed by officers was the suspect they had originally sought at the apartment complex. WSOC-TV reported that the slain man was not that suspect.
A man identified by WCNC-TV as the shooting victim's brother told the station that the officer involved in the shooting was undercover and not wearing a uniform.
"I think he shot him for times, I'm not sure but he's dead," the man told WCNC. The station did not identify him by name.
Police recovered the gun that the subject was holding at the time of the shooting, and witnesses were being interviewed, Trietley said in the statement.
He said the department's internal affairs bureau would conduct a separate investigation, which was standard procedure, and that the officers would be placed on administrative leave.
In August, a 29-year-old deaf driver from Charlotte was fatally shot by a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper during a traffic stop.
The state's top safety official has said that incident was being reviewed by the district attorney, the Highway Patrol and State Bureau of Investigation.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)