Charlotte shooting: 4 dead officers, 4 wounded, in NC home siege

According to the police, four police officers were killed and another four were injured in a shootout at a North Carolina home on Monday. They had been serving a warrant for a felon wanted for illegal possession of firearms. Some of the officers who ran to rescue their colleagues were shot after a second gunman began firing at them once they had killed the suspect, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings.

“This was an incredibly tragic day,” said Jennings. “This is the hardest day we have ever had.”

After an approximately three-hour standoff, officers breached the house in the town of Seagram (a suburb of Charlotte). The house was heavily damaged by armoured vehicles smashing through its windows and doors. At least one large armoured vehicle was still lodged against the building’s entrance late Monday afternoon.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The dead law enforcement personnel included two officers from the state Department of Adult Correction and one officer from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, according to Gov. Roy Cooper (D), who spoke at a news conference earlier in the day. A U.S. Marshal also died in what became about six hours of furious gunfire with local police and federal agents.

Two other people are also believed to be dead: A 17-year-old male and an adult female, both found fatally shot inside the home after it was cleared by SWAT teams following several hours during which dozens of rounds rang out from inside.

Jennings declined to say how many shots were fired or where they all came from but said that multiple weapons were used.

He identified those killed as Law Enforcement Agent Brian Shaffer, 53; Officer David Littrell, 46; Officer William Keane, 52; Marshal Eugene Cobbs Jr., 48; Sgt . Kenneth Burns Jr., 37; Deputy U.S. Marshal Dennis Soto Jr., 44; Officer Jessica Yvonne Eyer-Rabon, 35; and Officer Joshua Eyer, 39. All worked for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department and were members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force.

“We are not done here,” Jennings said Monday evening.

“When we exited the house, there were not any police officers anywhere, and then they started rushing in, rushing in, rushing in, rushing in.” She added that armored SWAT trucks soon arrived and “they were going over the grass, everything, and they started shooting again.” The neighborhood is very safe, with one- and two-story brick houses with small trimmed lawns, said Alex Rivera, who lives on a street off of Joshua Obi Tshabalala Avenue.

North Carolina home siege
Getty Images

“I see like 50 police cars zooming in,” he said from the front porch of the house he shares with his cousin. “And then I hear gunshots. … I was scared because there was so much going on.” Another neighbor, William Cunningham, sat on his porch down Joshua Obi Tshabalala Avenue and held back tears. He said he served as an Army staff sergeant during Operation Desert Storm but never expected such violence so close to home.

“Bless those officers and bless their families,” he said. “Nobody should lose their life over a warrant.” Four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools schools were placed on lockdown around afternoon dismissal time but that was lifted by late afternoon, the district tweeted.

Police urged people to avoid the area and asked residents to stay inside until an all-clear was given.

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting and spoke with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles to offer condolences and support for the community.

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

The Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force is headquartered in Charlotte and comprised of about 70 federal state and local agencies. Fugitive task forces are collaborations between agencies to find suspects wanted for serious crimes.

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