Crime & Courts

CMPD increases security at its headquarters in wake of deadly shooting there

Cops ambushed at police station

A homicide suspect being sought by police ambushed officers outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters late Thursday, shooting one officer in the leg before being killed by return fire.
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A homicide suspect being sought by police ambushed officers outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters late Thursday, shooting one officer in the leg before being killed by return fire.

After a shooting outside its front door last week, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has tightened public access to its headquarters on East Trade Street in uptown.

A homicide suspect being sought by police attacked officers outside police headquarters late Thursday, shooting one officer in the leg before being killed by return fire.

“He ambushed us,” Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters. The suspect was 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett.

Several bullet holes and shattered glass were visible at the headquarters entrance right below a warning label stating, “No firearms, concealed or otherwise.”

“As we continue to evaluate security measures related to access to CMPD Headquarters, we have determined that there is an immediate need to better control access to the facility,” CMPD said in a statement announcing the changes at 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Effective 5 p.m. Friday, police began “controlled access” to the headquarters, the department said.

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Bullet holes in glass outside the lobby of CMPD headquarters in uptown Charlotte. Davie Hinshaw Charlotte Observer

Entrances to the main lobby are now locked at all times and will require key card access or clearance from an officer at the security desk, CMPD said.

“Citizens, the general public, media and contractors will still have access to the facility 24 hours a day, but must be cleared for entry by the officers working the rotunda,” according to CMPD. “Our goal is to continue to provide the best service we can while ensuring the safety of all who enter and/ or occupy our facility.”

Just before 11 p.m. Thursday, officers from the North Tryon Division and N.C. Probation and Parole were in the CMPD parking lot when Bennett arrived in a white car, Putney said.

The group of six to eight officers was being briefed on an unrelated investigation in the parking lot when Bennett began shooting.

One CMPD officer, Casey Shue, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg, police said. Shue was released from the hospital Saturday morning, a CMPD official confirmed to the Observer. She was hired in July 2014, and is assigned to the North Tryon Division Crime Reduction Unit.

Bennett was a suspect in the fatal shooting of Brittany White, also 23, earlier Thursday in west Charlotte.

Bennett and White were the parents of an infant daughter, and Bennett took the child with him after that shooting, police said. The daughter was later found safe.

Obsever reporter LaVendrick Smith contributed to this report.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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