A holiday weekend that celebrated an icon of non-violence erupted into Charlotte-area shootings that killed one law enforcement officer and injured four others. An apparent murder-suicide claimed three more lives.
In York County, S.C., a domestic violence call late Monday night – the Martin Luther King holiday – turned into a manhunt for a suspect in which four officers were shot. The three York County sheriff’s deputies and one York police officer were shot at different locations during the overnight search for the suspect, who was also wounded.
The officers’ identities and conditions had not been released by early Tuesday, but a sheriff’s spokesman said they “could really use your prayers.” Suspect Christian Thomas McCall, 47, was in custody. WSOC reported that McCall was assaulting a woman when deputies arrived, but initially escaped.
In Charlotte on Monday afternoon, police officers responding to another call about a domestic violence assault in the University City area found a man who had been shot to death. Both the shooting victim, James Hawkins, and his wife, Rataba Hawkins, were Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputies.
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Rataba Hawkins has been with the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Office since 2002 and is assigned to field operations. James Hawkins was with the office since 2005 and was assigned to arrest processing.
“Our hearts go out to their family as they cope and grieve with this tragedy,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
And on Saturday evening in northwest Charlotte, police found Iliyah Miller, 3, and Isaiah Miller, 7, with life-threatening injuries at their home. Both were pronounced dead at the hospital. Investigators have not said how the children were believed to have died.
Their mother, Christina Treadway, 34, died when she jumped from an Interstate 485 bridge near her home, police said. Treadway worked as a game-day employee for the Carolina Panthers, a team spokesman said.
On her Facebook page, which was taken down Sunday, Treadway had posted a graphic promoting mental health awareness. Though it’s not clear what led to her death, many people shared messages about mental health awareness after reading her story.
Charlotte logged 87 homicides in 2017, a 26-percent increase from the previous year and the largest number since the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1990s.