Crime & Courts

Teen who ‘ambushed’ Cornelius police officer sentenced to prison

A teenager who was wearing a bulletproof vest when he shot a Cornelius police officer was sentenced this week to seven years and six months in prison.

Greyson Ferrell was 16 when he shot Lt. James Quattlebaum, who also was wearing abulletproof vest, in what Police Chief Bence Hoyle described at the time as an ambush. Quattlebaum and Officer Jeffery Heinz had responded to a domestic violence report at Ferrell’s home on Coachman’s Trace, off Washam Potts Road, in May 2015.

Greyson Ferrell
Greyson Ferrell Mecklenburg County jail

Ferrell walked down stairs and shot Quattlebaum in the abdomen as the officer stood just outside the front door. Quattlebaum was seriously injured. Wearing a bullet-proof vest likely saved Quattlebaum’s life, police said at the time.

Heinz, who was in the home, then fired at Ferrell. Ferrell’s vest stopped the bullets but knocked him to the floor, prosecutors said. He was taken into custody.

Ferrell, now 19, pleaded guilty in August to assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, according to the district attorney’s office. He had no previous criminal record.

Joe Marusak