A domestic violence call that turned into a manhunt resulted in four law enforcement officers being shot near the South Carolina city of York, about 35 miles southwest of Charlotte.
At least one of the four is in critical condition, according to York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris.
The wounded included three York County Sheriff’s deputies and one York city police officer. York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson identified the injured officers as sheriff’s K-9 deputy Randy Clinton, Sgt. Buddy Brown, Detective Mike Doty and York police Sgt. Kyle Cummings.
Doty, who has been with York County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years, was in “very critical” condition at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, Tolson said. “He is clinging to life.”
The suspect in the shooting, Christian Thomas McCall, 47, was shot by law enforcement during the pursuit. He is in custody, and his condition has not been released.
“I am devastated; our officers are devastated,” Tolson told the Rock Hill Herald. “The entire sheriff’s office family is devastated. We all feel as though we were attacked.”
York Police Chief Andy Robinson told the Rock Hill Herald: “This is the worst-case scenario for officers and their families, and right now we are concerned about all of them. … This is what we hope never happens.”
The officers were shot at two locations during the manhunt, Faris said.
Faris said officers were responding to a domestic violence call at 10:08 Monday to a home on Farrier Lane, just outside of York. A man was reportedly assaulting a female.
Deputies arrived at 10:20 p.m., found that McCall had fled on foot, and a launched a manhunt.
Clinton, who was working with the K-9 team, was the first officer to be shot, shortly after 1 a.m. He was taken to Piedmont Medical Center in a patrol car, officials said.
The search for McCall was then expanded to include other agencies, and officers requested a State Law Enforcement Division helicopter and the county SWAT team, Tolson said.
At about 3:30 a.m., Brown, Doty and Cummings were shot, Tolson said. “They were searching for the suspect and then were ambushed,” he said.
They were taken to Carolinas Medical Center, officials said.
McCall also fired at and hit a SLED helicopter that was assisting in the search, said Thom Berry, a SLED spokesman. No one in the helicopter was injured.
McCall was later shot in the process of being taken into custody. His condition hasn’t been released.
WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, reported that the domestic violence call was about McCall’s wife, who was not seriously injured. WSOC reported that McCall was assaulting a woman when deputies arrived but was able to escape.
Kim Hamrick of York, a neighbor, told the Rock Hill Herald she heard the shooting, which happened just a few hundred yards from her home. “The whole thing was terrifying,” Hamrick said. “I could hear the screaming. I heard, ‘Officer down.’ ”
So many shots were fired, and so many police and helicopters were in the area that “it is like a war zone out here,” said Lisa Wynn, another close neighbor.
Wynn said the middle-class neighborhood of single-family homes is generally quiet, with friendly people. She said she knows McCall as a regular walker around the neighborhood, but she is closer to McCall’s wife.
“All our backyards are connected,” Wynn said. “This is a quiet and beautiful place. None of us knows what goes on behind the closed doors of our neighbors, though. My concern is for the officers and their families, and the family here. I wish I could hug the wife right now.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police assisted in the case, lending its helicopter to the search, officials reported.
SLED is investigating the shootings, Faris said.
“When officers are attacked, the community is attacked,” York Mayor Eddie Lee said. “We are all appalled by this shooting of four courageous people.”
The (Rock Hill) Herald contributed.