Charlotte shooting NC: 4 Officers killed in NC

On Monday, tragedy struck as four law enforcement officers, including three from a U.S. Marshals Task Force, lost their lives, and four others were injured in a shooting incident while attempting to serve a warrant in Charlotte, North Carolina, authorities reported.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Chief Johnny Jennings, the harrowing event unfolded around 1:30 p.m. as members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force sought to serve a warrant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon at a suburban home in Charlotte.

During a press conference, Chief Jennings disclosed that the suspect opened fire on the officers with a “high-powered rifle” as they approached the residence.

In response to the gunfire, officers returned fire, fatally striking the suspect, who was later pronounced deceased in the front yard of the residence. Additionally, another individual inside the residence fired upon the officers, intensifying the already grave situation.

After a “long standoff,” Chief Jennings revealed that officers successfully cleared the residence and detained two individuals inside, one of whom was a 17-year-old, for questioning. Chief Jennings expressed belief that at least one of the two detainees had been involved in firing upon the officers.

In a somber tone during the news conference, Chief Jennings remarked, “Today is a tragic day for the city of Charlotte and the law enforcement profession. Today we lost some heroes out there simply trying to keep our community safe.”

Jennings confirmed that three members of the U.S. Marshals task force were pronounced dead. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police later verified that the officer critically wounded in the shooting had succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper took to X, formerly known as Twitter, expressing that two of the officers killed were part of the U.S. Marshals task force and were from the state Department of Adult Correction.

In a statement on X, the U.S. Marshals Service expressed their sorrow: “Our hearts are heavy tonight for the lives shattered by today’s horrific shooting in Charlotte, NC. We mourn the loss of our Deputy and two Task Force Officers.” They also expressed gratitude for the support and extended thoughts to the families and colleagues of all involved officers.

Charlotte shooting NC

CMPD officer critically injured in shooting identified

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police announced that Officer Joshua Eyer passed away Monday night due to his injuries. Eyer had faithfully served the North Tryon Division of the police department for six years, the department noted.

In a statement, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police expressed deep gratitude: “We are forever indebted to Officer Eyer for his bravery and ultimate sacrifice. His life and service will never be forgotten.”

Before the tragic events of Monday, about 21 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers had lost their lives to gunfire, as reported by the non-profit organization Officer Down Memorial Page. In 2007, two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers were fatally shot while responding to a disturbance call in east Charlotte.

Reflecting on the gravity of the situation earlier on Monday, Chief Jennings shared, “I’ve been with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for 32 years… it’s the most tragic (incident) that I’ve been involved in. I don’t know historically — I can’t imagine that there’s one that’s any worse than what we’re seeing today.”

According to the U.S. Marshals Survivors Benefit Fund, the last U.S. Marshal shot and killed in the line of duty was Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White in November 2018. White was killed while executing a felony arrest warrant in Tucson, Arizona.

‘Residents no longer need to shelter in place’

After the standoff, authorities successfully cleared the home and confirmed the presence of two individuals inside. Residents initially advised to “steer clear of the area,” were given the all-clear about three hours later, with police stating, “Residents no longer need to shelter in place.”

By late Monday afternoon, police had commenced questioning the two individuals found in the home, bringing them to the police station as persons of interest. Chief Jennings stated that investigators are now focused on unraveling the events inside the residence.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and other law enforcement agencies will continue to be present at the shooting scene to conduct a thorough investigation, resulting in ongoing road closures in the neighborhood.

Charlotte shooting NC 4 Officers killed in North Carolina

Jennings emphasized, “A lot of the questions that need to be answered, we don’t even know what those questions are now. We have to get a full understanding of why this occurred and also uphold the integrity of the investigation.”

During the gunfire, roads were blocked to facilitate fast ambulance transports, as reported by WBTV. Additionally, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools placed four schools on lockdown, later dismissing them after receiving the police all-clear.

Tyler Wilson, a neighbor of the residence involved in the shooting, described the chaotic scene to WBTV as “gunfire galore.” Wilson recounted that numerous law enforcement officers utilized his home and backyard during the incident.

Officials and religious leaders offer condolences to CMPD officers

Lyles took to X to address the shooting, expressing deep sadness: “I am deeply saddened by the shooting that occurred involving Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and US Marshals today.”

In her post, Lyles requested, “I ask that all Charlotteans keep them, the other injured officers, and their families in your thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time.”

Various other local and state officials also offered their condolences, with Senator Tom Tillis labeling the incident as an “attack in Charlotte.”

After the tragic shootings, North Carolina Bishop Rev. Connie Shelton provided solace, acknowledging the proximity of the incident to the United Methodist Church General Conference gathering. She reflected, “We are mindful of the violence in the world, desperation, pain, and how desperation then inflicts pain on others. Oh God, in the chaos right now, we ask that your spirit will bring clarity and order amid pain.”

Governor Cooper also addressed the situation via X, stating, “I’m in contact with law enforcement concerning the tragic shooting in the Charlotte area, and we have offered state resources to help.” He later conveyed his condolences to the “families and co-workers of officers in today’s brutal attack.”

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department also shared their condolences and pledged support for law enforcement. Garland remarked in a statement, “Every single day, Deputy U.S. Marshals and Task Force Officers put their lives on the line to apprehend some of our country’s most dangerous criminals. Today, three of those dedicated public servants made the ultimate sacrifice. Multiple other officers were critically injured while carrying out this operation to protect their community.”

What is a Marshals task force?

Brady McCarron, deputy chief of the Marshals’ public affairs office, clarified that the group of officers involved in Monday’s shooting were part of a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. McCarron explained that such a task force typically comprises U.S. Marshal’s agents alongside officers from various local law enforcement agencies, including state police, county sheriff’s offices, local police departments, as well as local probation officers, and investigators from the District Attorney’s Office.

McCarron elaborated that a task force usually forms after a local law enforcement agency requests assistance from the Marshals in serving an outstanding warrant. For instance, McCarron provided the example of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department involved in Monday’s incident, stating, “Say Charlotte-Mecklenburg knew where he was but they knew they wouldn’t be able to get him themselves. At that point, we’d adopt the warrant.”

The officers involved on Monday were part of the Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to McCarron, which is one of the largest among the eight regional forces. Established in 2018, it collaborates with over 70 federal, state, and local agencies, operates 11 offices spanning North and South Carolina, and has apprehended over 8,900 fugitives.

McCarron highlighted that the U.S. Marshals Service, being the law enforcement arm of the Department of Justice, has historical roots dating back to President George Washington’s appointment of the first 13 marshals in 1789. Tragically, over 200 Marshals and Deputies have lost their lives in the line of duty since then, with Robert Forsyth being the first casualty five years later, as per the agency’s records.

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