UNITED STATES

4 law enforcement officers killed in shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina

Apr 29, 2024, 4:20 PM | Updated: 10:48 pm

A Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer walks carrying a gun in the neighborhood where a shooting to...

A Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer walks carrying a gun in the neighborhood where a shooting took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, Monday, April 29. (Nell Redmond/AP via CNN Newsource)

(Nell Redmond/AP via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — Four officers were killed in a shooting while attempting to serve a warrant at a home in Charlotte, North Carolina, including one deputy US marshal and two local task force officers, authorities say.

A total of eight law enforcement officers were shot during the incident, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings said at a Monday evening news conference. He described the shooting as “the most tragic one” he had been involved with in his 32-year-long law enforcement career.

The shooting unfolded in the 5000 block of Galway Drive as members of a US Marshals Service fugitive task force were serving a warrant for possession of firearm by a convicted felon, Jennings said.

The officers were met with gunfire from a “high-powered rifle” and returned fire, fatally shooting a suspect in the front yard of the house. Jennings said the task force had been serving the warrant to that suspect.

“As officers approached, they received additional gunfire from inside the residence,” the police chief said.

Three members of the marshals task force were killed, Jennings said. In a statement to CNN, the US Marshals Service confirmed one of the dead was a deputy US marshal.

Two of the officers killed, Sam Poloche and Alden Elliott, worked for the state’s Department of Adult Correction, according to Todd Ishee, the department’s secretary. They both were 14-year veterans of the department assigned to the task force. Poloche leaves behind a wife and two children. Elliott leaves behind a wife and one child.

Four Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were also shot, including one in critical condition, “fighting for his life” in the hospital, Jennings said. The other officers are in stable condition, he said.

On Monday night, police said one of the wounded officers, Joshua Eyer, had died.

“Officer Joshua Eyer was one of the CMPD officers shot in the line of duty this afternoon,” Jennings said on X. “He fought for several hours and passed away from his injuries with his wife and family by his side tonight. Officer Eyer was 6-year veteran with the CMPD, and I am truly grateful for his bravery, service and ultimate sacrifice. He will never be forgotten, and we are forever indebted.”

Eyer is survived by his wife and 3-year-old son, Jennings told reporters at a brief news conference Monday evening. “It was just last month I was in this very room, congratulating Officer Eyer for becoming officer of the month,” Jennings said. “He certainly dedicated his life and gave his life to serve our citizens.”

There are also two “people of interest” being questioned by police, Jennings said. When authorities cleared the residence, a 17-year-old and a woman came out, Jennings said, but could not confirm whether either of the two were suspects.

“We are very early in the investigation,” he added. “CMPD will lead this investigation, we still have a lot to uncover, a lot of questions that are not answered right now.”

The chief said he could not recall a worse incident in the Charlotte area.

“I can’t remember an incident where three law enforcement officers were killed in the same incident, as well as one in critical condition and additional (officers) that were shot and injured,” Jennings said.

Authorities cleared the scene Monday afternoon, telling residents they no longer needed to shelter in place in a post on X.

“Numerous law enforcement officers struck by gunfire in active situation,” the department had said earlier on X.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper “is in Charlotte and continues to receive briefings on the situation,” his office told CNN, and was expected to speak with the families of the victims and officials later Monday.

President Joe Biden spoke with the governor after the shooting, the White House said in a statement Monday. Senior administration officials are also in touch with local officials, according to the White House.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said in a statement she is “deeply saddened by the shooting that occurred that involved Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and US Marshals today.”

“I ask that all Charlotteans keep them, the other injured officers, and their families in your thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time,” Lyles said.

In a post on X the US Marshals Service wrote, “Our hearts are heavy tonight for the lives shattered by today’s horrific shooting in Charlotte, NC. We mourn the loss of our Deputy and two Task Force Officers. We are grateful for all the support, and we keep the families and colleagues of all officers involved, in our thoughts.”

This is a developing story and has been updated.

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4 law enforcement officers killed in shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina