A teenager accused of shooting an off-duty Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer during a home invasion robbery on Sunday has been charged in several other robberies in North and South Carolina.
Police say Kevin Watson McClary, 19, broke into a southwest Charlotte apartment and shot Officer John Dunham in the shoulder during an attempted robbery about 6 a.m. Sunday. Dunham’s son, who was at home at the time, wasn’t injured. Dunham’s injuries weren’t life-threatening.
McClary was taken into police custody late Sunday and charged with several felonies: two counts of armed robbery, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Police have not released a motive in the shooting.
Maurici Gabriel Salazar-Peiti, 17, was also charged in the shooting case with being an accessory after the fact to robbery and attempted murder.
But police say as they investigated Dunham’s shooting, they identified McClary as a suspect in several other robberies, including at least three in a matter of hours early Thursday.
Police say McClary was one of two men who walked into the Circle K on The Plaza near East W.T. Harris Boulevard after midnight on Thursday, showed a gun and demanded money from the clerk. The suspects fled in a red pickup truck.
A little more than two hours later, police say, the same two men walked into a 7-Eleven store on Brookshire Boulevard, threatened a clerk with a gun and stole property. And shortly after that, police say, the men robbed the 7-Eleven store at 9502 Mount Holly-Huntersville Road.
Police believe the suspects also committed robberies at the 7-Eleven on Carowinds Boulevard and a Dollar General Store in Dallas, N.C. Details of those robberies weren’t available on Monday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say additional charges are pending against McClary and Salazar-Peiti. Investigators are also looking for two other men they believe may have been involved in the robberies; Miguel Angel Zelaya, 18, and Nahum Maldonado Rea, 18.
Mecklenburg County court records show McClary was arrested in June on breaking-and-entering charges, along with two misdemeanors. He was arrested four other times in 2010 and 2011, according to records.
Dunham was shot early Sunday in the 6600 block of Montcrest Drive, in an apartment complex near where Old Pineville Road meets Archdale Drive.
Detectives say Dunham was inside his apartment with his son when McClary forced his way inside the home and took property. During a confrontation with the suspect, Dunham was shot.
Dunham has been on the police force since 2008 and is assigned to the Metro Division.
Investigators asked anyone with information to call 704-432-TIPS to speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or visit the Crime Stoppers mobile app website at http://charlottecrimestoppers.com. Staff researcher Maria David contributed.
Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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