A Concord police officer died after being shot near Concord Mills Wednesday night, the Concord Police Department (CPD) says.
The 25-year-old officer later identified as Jason Shuping was fatally shot during an on-duty confrontation with an armed suspect at 11 p.m. on Gateway Lane near Bruton Smith Boulevard off Interstate 85.
Other responding CPD officers shot and killed the armed suspect at the scene.
The identity suspect has not been revealed by CPD.
Another CPD officer who responded to the incident was wounded with non-life-threatening injuries.
The incident began after a CPD officer and an on-duty state Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agent responded to a call for service around 10 p.m. concerning a vehicle that crashed near the Exit 49 ramp of the northbound interstate.
“A citizen passing by alerted the officers that a male subject had attempted to take her vehicle while she was in it, and the citizen provided a physical description of the subject and location,” CPD Chief Gary Gacek said at a press briefing Thursday at 8 a.m.
The ALE agent and two accompanying CPD officers (one being Shuping) went to a nearby Sonic Drive-In and found a male who fit the citizen’s description.
“Moments after the agent and officers approached the subject, the subject pulled out a handgun and began shooting in the direction of the officers,” Gacek said at the press briefing. “We believe this the point in time in which the officers sustained their injuries.”
At about the same time the shots were fired, two more officers came to the area on foot and found the two injured officers and the suspect, who had entered a nearby SUV.
“As these two officers approached, there was an exchange of gunfire. The subject was struck during the gunfire exchange and sustained fatal injuries,” Gacek said.
The two officers involved in the shootout were not injured, according to Gacek.
Responding officers found Shuping fatally shot on the ground, while the wounded officer stood nearby and protected his comrade, Gacek said.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating what happened during the encounter, a standard practice following an officer-involved shooting. Three CPD officers who responded to the incident were placed on administrative leave pending internal and state investigations.
“This loss is devastating not only to the member’s family and loved ones but every officer across the city, state and country. Please join us by praying for all involved,” CPD posted on Facebook and Twitter.
This incident comes less than a week after 25-year-old Mount Holly police officer Tyler Avery Herndon was fatally shot while confronting a burglary suspect. Herdon died two days before his 26th birthday.