Kiefer is on paid administrative leave while the police department investigates, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney has said. Placing officers on leave during an investigation into a shooting is standard procedure for the department.
The shooting happened in the parking lot of a shopping center on West Boulevard around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, police have said. Putney said CMPD’s K-9 unit was there to investigate after officers found an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot that fit the description of a car used during a previous robbery.
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Earlier in the afternoon, according to the police department, employees inside a nearby Family Dollar reported a robbery and gave police a description of the suspect and the car he fled in. An initial investigation by CMPD concluded the car, an Infiniti, had been stolen during an armed robbery inside a church that same day where an unknown man used a box cutter to cut another man.
Putney has said a police officer – later identified as Kiefer – saw Kelley walking in the parking lot where they found the stolen car and that Kelley fit the description of the robbery suspect in both earlier cases.
On Thursday, the police department said the officer gave “loud, repeated, verbal commands” but that Kelley “began to walk quickly toward Officer Kiefer.”
Kiefer was outside his police car during the shooting, according to CMPD. The department says he instructed his K-9 unit dog to “engage” Kelley as he approached but that Kelley “began to sprint” toward Kiefer. After giving more commands that were ignored, the department says Kiefer fired his gun and shot Kelley.
Kelley was taken to the hospital but died.