May 24th, 2024

3 law officers killed, 5 others wounded trying to serve warrant in North Carolina, authorities say

By Erik Verduzco And Peter Smith, The Associated Press on April 29, 2024.

Multiple law enforcement officers were shot Monday, April 29, 2024, in east Charlotte, N.C., the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department said. Officers from the U.S. Marshals Task Force were conducting an investigation in a suburban neighborhood when they were fired upon, the CMPD said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. (Khadejeh Nikouyeh/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Three officers on a U.S. Marshals Task Force serving a warrant for a felon wanted for possessing a firearm were killed and five other officers were wounded in a shootout Monday in North Carolina, home, police said.

The officers were first shot at by the wanted suspect as they approached the suburban home in Charlotte and they killed him in the front yard, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings said.

A second person then fired on officers from inside the home where a high-powered rifle was found, Jennings said.

A woman and a 17-year-old male were found in the home after a three-hour standoff that included armored vehicles crashing into the suburban home in a tree-lined neighborhood and tearing off doorways and windows. The two are being questioned, Jennings said.

One other member of the task force, which is made up of federal agents and other officers from across the region was injured. The Marshal’s Service confirmed one of the agents were killed and did not release a name. The agencies where the two other officers worked were not released.

Four Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers who responded to the scene were also shot while trying to rescue the wounded officers. One remains in critical condition, Jennings said.

Neighbors said gunfire continued for several minutes after the shooting erupted.

WSOC-TV said their helicopter captured an armored vehicle driving through yards and knocking over recycling bins before officers removed a person with blood on their shirt who was then loaded into an ambulance.

After the home was cleared, the helicopter pilot said he couldn’t show the front lawn of the home because the scene was too disturbing.

Several armored vehicles were on nearby lawns and driveways of the older suburban neighborhood of a tree-lined street with brick homes. A shattered window, blinds torn, was in a street and a entire doorway was leaning against of one of the vehicles.

Many roads in the area including Interstate 77 were closed so ambulances could get to hospitals faster. TV footage showed ambulances speeding to hospitals with several vehicles with sirens on both in front and behind them.

Kiashia Williams was driving home when she heard several shots separated by a few seconds.

“Ambulances, police and everything everywhere just started rushing down,” said Williams as she waited in her car to be allowed to go home and check on her daughter, who broadcast what she saw on social media.

Four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were placed on lockdown around afternoon dismissal, but that was lifted in the late afternoon, the district said.

Police urged people to stay away from the neighborhood and asked residents to remain inside their homes.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he was in contact with law enforcement in Charlotte and offered any state resources to help.

The last marshal shot and killed in the line of duty was in November 2018. Chase White was shot in Tucson, Arizona, by a man wanted for stalking local law enforcement officers, the agency said.

The Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force is headquartered in Charlotte with 70 federal, state and local agencies. Fugitive task forces are collaborations between agencies to find and arrest suspects in crimes.

In six years, the regional task force has apprehend more than 8,900 fugitives, the U.S. Marshals Service said on its website.

In March 2007, two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers were killed responding to a domestic dispute by someone not directly involved in the fight. Demeatrius Antonio Montgomery is serving a life sentence in the killings of officers Jeffrey Shelton and Sean Clark.

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Contributing to this report were Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina; Rebecca Reynolds in Louisville, Kentucky; and Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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