Three officers were killed and five injured in a shooting in North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Three U.S. Marshals Task Force officers serving an arrest warrant for a felon wanted for possession of a firearm were killed and five other officers injured in a shooting at a North Carolina home Monday, police said.

Some of the officers who rushed to the Charlotte neighborhood to rescue the primary wave of downed officers were injured when a second gunman began firing at them after killing the person they were on the lookout for, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings said .

“Today we lost some heroes who were simply trying to keep our community safe,” Jennings said at a news conference.

After a three-hour standoff, the house in a Charlotte suburb was torn open. Armored vehicles raced in, tearing out windows and whole doors, which remained broken. Several armored vehicles were parked within the yards, a few of them dangling from branches.

The task force got here under fire from the wanted suspect as they approached the house, and the person was killed within the front yard, Jennings said. His name was not released, however the chief said he was wanted for illegal gun possession.

A second person then fired at officers from contained in the home, where a high-powered rifle was found, Jennings added.

After the altercation, a lady and a 17-year-old man were found in the house. The two could be questioned, Jennings said.

The Marshals Service confirmed that one in every of its agents was killed but didn’t provide a reputation. Two officers from the state Department of Adult Correction were also killed, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. The governor was in Charlotte and spoke with the families of the officers who were killed and injured.

Another member of the duty force, made up of federal agents and other officials from across the region, was injured.

Four Charlotte-Mecklenburg law enforcement officials who arrived on scene were shot while attempting to rescue the wounded officers. One of them stays in critical condition, Jennings said.
Neighbors said the gunfire lasted several minutes.

WSOC-TV said their helicopter caught an armored vehicle driving through yards and knocking over recycling bins before officers removed an individual 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 yard of the home since the scene was too graphic and disturbing.

“Many of the questions that need to be answered, we don't even know what the questions are yet,” Jennings said as he somberly briefed reporters lower than 4 hours after the shooting. “We must gain a full understanding of why this happened and also maintain the integrity of the investigation.”

Many area roads, including Interstate 77, were closed to permit ambulances to get to hospitals more quickly. Television footage showed ambulances racing to hospitals with sirens blaring, accompanied by vehicles driving in front and behind.

Rissa Reign was cleansing her house when she heard the primary shots. There was a pause, then a second set of shots, after which a 3rd. She stepped out.

“When we got outside, there were no cops there at all, then the cops started charging, charging, charging, charging in,” she said, adding that armored SWAT trucks quickly followed, “driving across the grass, every part , and so they began shooting again.”

The neighborhood, with one- and two-story brick homes and small, manicured lawns, could be very secure, said Alex Rivera, who lives on a street nearby.

“I see about 50 police cars driving up and then I hear gunshots,” he said from the porch of the house he shares along with his cousin. “I was scared because there was so much going on.”

Another neighbor, William Cunningham, was moved to tears as he sat on his porch. He said he was a veteran of Operation Desert Storm but never expected such violence in his own neighborhood.
“Bless these officers and bless their families,” he said. “No one should be killed because of a warrant.”

Four schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg were placed on lockdown due to afternoon dismissal, however it was lifted late within the afternoon, the district said.

Police urged people to keep away from the neighborhood and asked residents to remain of their homes until the all-clear was given.

The last marshal to be shot within the line of duty occurred in November 2018. Chase White was shot in Tucson, Arizona, by a person wanted for stalking local law enforcement officials, the agency said.

The Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force is headquartered in Charlotte and is comprised of 70 federal, state and native agencies. Refugee task forces are collaborations between authorities to search out and arrest suspects in crimes.

In six years, the regional task force has apprehended greater than 8,900 fugitives, the US Marshals Service said on its website.

In March 2007, two Charlotte-Mecklenburg law enforcement officials were killed while responding to a domestic dispute involving someone who was circuitously involved within the fight. Demeatrius Antonio Montgomery is serving a life sentence for the murders of officers Jeffrey Shelton and Sean Clark.

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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