Crime & Courts

CMPD closes uptown headquarters for hours as suspect sought

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was closed to the public for three hours Thursday “out of an abundance of caution,” as officers sought a suspect they believed might be in the area.

The East Trade Street office and its parking lot were closed to the public at around 1:30 p.m., according to a news release. It reopened around 4:30 p.m. A police spokesperson told the Observer there were no direct threats to the department.

Police later said they had charged Delmond Cunningham, 34, for a shooting earlier Thursday morning.

A woman had reported to police that Cunningham followed her car into the parking lot of Villa Heights Academic Center and fired shots at the car, police said. One of the bullets hit a nearby home.

Police said a SWAT team and negotiators arrived to try to make contact with Cunningham, who was inside an apartment on Luther Avenue, in the Cherry neighborhood.

Cunningham surrendered and was to be charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, three counts of violating a domestic violence protective order, shooting into occupied property, possessing a firearm on school property and communicating threats, police said.

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Security was tightened at police headquarters in January after a man drove into the parking lot and started shooting, striking one police officer in the leg, police said. Officers fired back and killed the man, who was the main suspect in a homicide earlier that day.

Starting the next day, the police department locked its doors during business hours and required people to speak through an intercom before entering the building.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester