Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers shot and killed a homicide suspect late Thursday after the man apparently opened fire on a group of officers outside police headquarters, hitting one in the leg and sending others scrambling to return fire.
“He ambushed us,” Police Chief Kerr Putney was quoted as telling reporters at a late-night media briefing.
The suspect, 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett, was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center. (A CMPD spokesman said several officers fired on Bennett.)
Bennett was a suspect in the fatal shooting of Brittany White, also 23, who was killed hours earlier in west Charlotte. Bennett and White were the parents of an infant daughter. Bennett took the child with him after that shooting, police said. The child was later found safe.
According to CMPD, as homicide detectives were searching for Bennett, the suspect showed up outside police headquarters shortly before 11 p.m. and opened fire on a group of officer not involved in the case.
The Charlotte Observer quoted Putney as saying it was doubtful that the shooting was captured on police body camera footage because it was an ambush.
“Times like this make you appreciate people who voluntarily put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” Putney said, emphasizing that officers have a “dangerous job.”
CMPD withheld the name of the injured officer pending notification of family members. His injury was described as non-life threatening.
The shooting outside police headquarters will be investigated by the department’s internal affairs unit to determine whether the officers involved followed CMPD policy and procedures. Such investigations are standard when police fire their weapons.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a homicide detective or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.