Crime & Courts

Video: 'Ambush' at CMPD headquarters put one officer in hospital, killed a suspect

CMPD ambushed, 1 officer and suspect shot in body cam video

GRAPHIC CONTENT: Body camera video shows Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers shooting and killing homicide suspect Jonathan Bennett, who drove into the parking lot of CMPD headquarters and shot at them, police said. The officers were cleared.
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GRAPHIC CONTENT: Body camera video shows Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers shooting and killing homicide suspect Jonathan Bennett, who drove into the parking lot of CMPD headquarters and shot at them, police said. The officers were cleared.

Officer Casey Shue was shot outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters in January.

She felt an impact to her leg before hearing gunfire and realizing she may have been shot, she later told investigators.

Shue got ready to fight back.

Despite the bullet wound, she ran for cover, pulling out her gun on the way.

Shue and several other CMPD officers and probation officers had been working on probation compliance checks that night, and they were about to hold a briefing in the parking lot when 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett drove up, according to a report from the District Attorney's Office.

Bennett, who was CMPD’s suspect in the death of his girlfriend earlier that day, began shooting. CMPD Chief Putney later called it an “ambush.”

Officers returned fire and killed Bennett.

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather ruled this month that the two CMPD officers and two probation officers who fired their guns acted lawfully.

One of those officers — CMPD's Jeff Zederbaum — was talking to Shue when the shots broke out, according to video from his body camera released Tuesday.

The beginning of Zederbaum's video is silent because CMPD's body cameras have a 30-second buffering function that lets them capture video, but not audio, from the 30 seconds before the officer pressed record.

Silently, in the first seconds of Zederbaum's video, Shue flinched and another officer covered his ears.

Then Shue reached for her upper left thigh — where she was shot.

Zederbaum pulled out his gun, which jostled the video. Shue headed for cover near the bushes.

In the body camera video from CMPD Officer Jared Decker, who also shot at Bennett, the audio turned on after Bennett was on the ground. Officers handcuffed Bennett and found his gun.

"Who's hit? She was hit!" one officer said.

Decker headed for his patrol car.

"I'm going with her," he said. Decker and three other officers drove Shue to the hospital, according to the report released with the distict attorney's ruling.

Shue, who was released from the hospital two days after the shooting, was CMPD's officer of the month in August 2017 for her efforts to make Charlotte's Hidden Valley neighborhood safer. She is on administrative assignment with CMPD as of Tuesday, police said.



Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester
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