Crime & Courts

Man charged in east Charlotte shootout with Army medic mom

Police have charged a man they say shot and seriously injured an Army National Guard combat medic during a shootout in the stairwell of her east Charlotte home.

Reco Latur Dawkins Jr., 23, was charged with attempted murder, felony breaking and entering and conspiracy. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said he turned himself in to the department’s violent criminal apprehension team Sunday morning.

Semantha Bunce was feeding her baby just before 10 a.m. Tuesday when intruders knocked on the front door, rang the doorbell and then kicked in the door. Bunce grabbed her gun met them at her bedroom door and exchanged gunfire with them, family members told the Observer.

She was shot several times and was recovering Sunday at Carolinas Medical Center. Her baby wasn’t injured during the exchange of gunfire at the home on Matlea Court, off the Plaza Road extension. Police initially said there was more than one intruder, but on Sunday they didn’t say whether investigators were looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.

Bunce, 21, is a member of the U.S. Army’s 105th Engineer Battalion, based in Raeford. Paul Bunce III told WSOC-TV he believes his wife’s training as a combat medic allowed her to stay mentally focused and calm during what was a fight for her life.

The case, which police and family members believe was an act of random crime, has made national headlines.

Hollie Ritchie, Bunce’s friend and fellow soldier with the Raeford-based 105th Engineer Battalion, established a Go Fund Me site to help pay for Bunce’s utility bills, child care, travel expenses, home repairs, medical bills and missed wages.

Paul Bunce’s employer, MAA, has also established a fund on YouCaring , a fund-raising site. The company manages apartment complexes in the Carolinas and 13 other states.

Sunday’s arrest was Dawkins’ seventh in the past three years, including several on charges of breaking and entering, according to the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Office.

Dawkins has a criminal history dating to his teenage years, according to court records. He was convicted of breaking and entering in 2010 and sentenced to three years of probation.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

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