Charlotte police investigation into deaths of 4 officers finds suspect acted alone; no friendly fire

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Man fatally shot four law enforcement officers A month ago, he acted alone with an assault rifle and was solely responsible for all the victims, police in North Carolina’s largest city announced Friday.

“At this point in the investigation, it has been determined that there was a single shooter and no friendly fire,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Deputy Police Chief Tonya Arrington told reporters.

Four other officers were also injured in the April 29 incident in a residential neighborhood, the deadliest shooting against law enforcement officers since 2016, when a sniper killed five officers during a demonstration in Dallas. President Joe Biden visited Charlotte and met in private With the families of the deceased officers.

Agents from a Charlotte-based U.S. Marshals task force came under fire at a home while attempting to execute arrest warrants for ex-felon’s gun possession and fleeing To escape. Law enforcement officers shot and killed Terry Clark Hughes Jr., 39, who was wanted in neighboring Lincoln County.

Hughes was on the second floor of the house. Arrington said he ran between the windows, giving some the impression there could have been two shooters. There were two women in the house with him, but the investigation determined they did not shoot at the officers, she said.

“The suspect told the occupants to get out or get down before firing his weapon at the officers,” Arrington said. “All evidence shows there was only one shooter in this incident.”

She also said no other guns were in the house so the women had nothing to shoot with.

At least 12 officers fired their weapons as they exchanged gunfire with the suspect for more than 17 minutes. “It’s an eternity; They were in a shootout,” Arrington said.

Hughes, armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and also a .40-caliber handgun that he did not fire during the shooting, then jumped out of a second-story window and was shot to death by police officers in the front yard.

Police, still thinking there might have been a second shooter, then moved an armored vehicle to evacuate the injured officers and observed movement from a second-story window, according to Arrington.

Officers “used suppressive fire on two targeted locations from where the suspect was shooting to facilitate the evacuation of our injured officers. Based on this evidence, there was no friendly fire in this case,” she said.

Arrington said the investigation was enormous in scope and included reviewing videos from body-worn cameras, 8,900 images, 65 interviews with officers and 765 pieces of physical evidence.

“This was a shooter who intended to kill police officers that day,” Arrington said.

The officers killed were Sam Poloche and William Elliott of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections; Joshua Eyer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer; and Deputy U.S. Marshal Thomas Weeks.

Police Chief Johnny Jennings said officers were still dealing with what he called “the most tragic time in our department’s history.”

“Some are doing better than others…but the bottom line is we continue to do the work,” he said.

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