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Three in custody after officer-involved shooting, chase

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were involved in an early Sunday shootout just north of uptown and an ensuing car chase that ended with arrests in Cabarrus County.

No one was injured. Three people were charged, but police didn’t release their names or details about the charges they faced.

One of the officers involved in the shootout -- Anthony Holzhauer -- was involved in a fatal shooting last year. He was cleared after an investigation by the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s office.

Around 4 a.m. Sunday, officers were summoned to North Tryon Street near Sylvania Avenue by a 911 caller who saw “the occupants of a vehicle sitting inside the vehicle loading guns,” according to a police news release.

Holzhauer and Officer David Sussman arrived first. As the officers got out of their patrol cruisers, the men in the car opened fire. The officers returned gunfire and the suspects sped away in their vehicle.

Officers radioed a description of the vehicle, and a short time later other officers saw it on North Tryon Street.

The officers tried to pull the vehicle over, but the suspects didn’t stop, according to the CMPD release, and they led officers on a chase that ended in Cabarrus County. The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office helped to stop the vehicle, CMPD said.

Three people in the car were taken into custody, and then to CMPD headquarters for questioning. Police also recovered two guns from the vehicle. Homicide and assault with a deadly weapon detectives are leading the investigation.

Officers Holzhauer and Sussman have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into the shooting, which is standard procedure when an officer fires his gun in the line of duty. The probe from Internal Affairs will look at whether department polices and procedures were followed.

CMPD said Holzhauer has worked for the department since 2010, and Sussman began in 2001. Both are assigned to the Metro Division.

On July 2, 2012, Holzhauer was involved in an officer-involved shooting in the Biddleville neighborhood just off Beatties Ford Road, which is also in the Metro division. He was never charged with a crime. It was unclear late Sunday if he had faced any disciplinary action related to the shooting.

Police said then that Michael Deangelo Laney, 28, was shot in the head by Holzhauer after he tried to pull out a gun while wrestling with another officer.

Frederick Laney told Qcitymetro.com, a website covering Charlotte’s African-American community, that his cousin was pinned to the ground when he was shot in the head.

“They had him,” Frederick Laney said. “He didn’t never pull no gun out. They had no business shooting him, plain and simple.”

Police Chief Rodney Monroe defended Holzhauer’s actions shortly after the shooting. He said Officer Ryan Shields and Laney got into a wrestling match. The officers saw Laney reaching for a handgun, the police chief said, “from either his waistband or his pocket.”

Shields called for help from Holzhauer, Monroe said.

“In fear for their lives, Officer Holzhauer discharged his firearm, striking Mr. Laney in the right temple,” Monroe said.

Anyone with information about the shooting or chase is asked to call police at 704-432-TIPS. Information also can be given to Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.

Staff writer April Bethea contributed and NBC Charlotte contributed.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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