Crime & Courts

Suspect identified in Saturday night shooting of CMPD police officer

Three people were shot, including a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, during an incident in the Steele Creek area of southwest Charlotte Saturday night.

The man accused of shooting the officer and another victim has been identified as 25-year-old Joshuale Matthews-Vincent Carter. Police say he is currently in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center.

The officer, Lt. Andy Harris, had a superficial wound to the abdomen and has non-life-threatening injuries, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney at a 1 a.m. Sunday press conference. Harris was wearing a bullet-resistant vest that slowed the bullet and prevented more serious injuries.

“He’s doing fine,” said Putney, who visited the officer at Carolinas Medical Center. “He was hit but it’s non-life-threatening, obviously — a superficial wound to his abdomen. His family has been notified and he’s alert and having conversations.”

The suspect, who was accused of shooting an acquaintance and then Harris, was himself shot by police officers who had returned fire.

Harris is a night shift lieutenant for the Steele Creek division, and has been employed by CMPD since December 1992.

He was one of the first officers who responded to a shots fired call on Honey Hill Lane near the Carowinds amusement park just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

Police said the suspect had shot an acquaintance. When firefighters and three police officers responded to the scene, the suspect opened fire on them, striking Harris in a parking lot, Putney said. Officers returned fire and struck the suspect.

Putney said he did not know why the suspect fired at first responders. “As soon as the suspect saw the officers he fired five or six shots,” Putney said.

Putney said the the suspect was also taken to CMC. The acquaintance, who was found shot and injured inside an apartment, had non-life-threatening injuries.

It was not immediately clear what type of weapon suspect allegedly used.

Honey Hill Lane is in the Bennington Place subdivision off South Tryon Street in Steele Creek.

Nearly 40 police vehicles lined nearby York Road, including several squad cars that had traveled from uptown Charlotte. Other officers were in the subdivision.

Putney said police were conducting parallel criminal and internal investigations, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.

Staff writer Adam Bell contributed

Joe Marusak: 704-987-3670, @jmarusak