Amanda Robbins’ phone rang around 9:30 p.m. Her 56-year-old mother was frantic. Four shots had just rung out outside their home as her mother sat in the living room on a quiet, rainy night. Then more shots came.
A shootout between a gunman and police had commenced outside their kitchen window at the Bennington Place townhouse community, off South Tryon Street near Carowinds Boulevard.
Bullets blasted vehicles and homes as Robbins’ mother described what she was seeing.
“She said, ‘I hear sirens. I can see cops. They’re shooting back at them,’ ” Robbins recalled Sunday of their conversation. “That’s when I told her to hide in the bathroom.”
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By the time it was over, three people were shot, according to a report from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Lt. Andy Harris, a CMPD officer, was hit in the abdomen, according to the department’s report.
Harris was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. His injuries are not life-threatening. He was released Sunday from Carolinas Medical Center and is recovering at home, police said.
The suspect, 25-year-old Joshuale Matthews-Vincent Carter, was shot by police, CMPD’s report said. Carter is in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center.
Before firing on officers, the shooter first shot an acquaintance, which resulted in the initial call to police sometime before 10 p.m., CMPD’s report said. Police arrived quickly after the first shots were fired, according to residents.
The acquaintance was found shot inside a residence and had injuries that were not life-threatening, according to police. That person has not been identified.
Bullets fly through house
Another neighbor, Shannon Quinn, who has lived there about six years, remembers hearing arguing that night.
She stepped outside and saw five or six people standing on the sidewalk or street in the rain on one side of the parking lot that sits in the center of a U-shaped grouping of homes on Honey Hill Lane in southwest Mecklenburg County.
She went inside to get her cellphone. That may have saved her life. Soon 25 to 30 shots rang out from what sounded like multiple guns. She heard shouting.
A bullet flew through the front of the house through her first-floor bedroom window, then through her bedroom door before lodging in one of her kitchen cabinets. Two more shots struck the front porch.
After the shooting stopped, officers knocked on doors and told everyone to stay indoors. They came back to document the damage the next day, Easter Sunday.
“I felt like my house was a crime scene,” she said. “I never would have expected that.”
Quinn and her three dogs were not injured; her 18-year-old daughter was away that night.
In treatment for cancer and multiple sclerosis, an already frail Quinn was shaking when she came to the door the next morning.
“They told me I could have been killed. This might convince me to go,” she said, explaining that even though it’s a quiet community, she has considered moving since losing her husband. The shooting happened on the second anniversary of his death.
Bullet lodges in pillow
Investigators blocked the entrance to Honey Hill Lane for several hours during the night. That prevented Robbins from returning to check on her mother until about midnight.
The next day, crime scene investigators discovered a bullet had cut through the wall beside her mother’s armchair in the living room. The bullet lodged in a pillow that was stored in a foot stool beside the chair. Investigators confiscated the bullet as evidence that could help determine the type of weapon the gunman used.
Chairs on Robbins’ front porch had been pushed aside as officers positioned themselves there during the shooting.
Two other officers involved in the shooting with Harris are Sgt. Jonathan Steppe and Officer Jon Carroll.
Steppe has been with CMPD since August 2008 and Carroll since February 2015. Both are assigned to the Steele Creek Division.
As is standard procedure after a shooting, the three officers have been place on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues.
If he recovers, Carter will be charged with three counts of assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, two counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, assault inflicting serious bodily injury on a law enforcement officer, second-degree kidnapping, assault on a female, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Carter was convicted in 2011 of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and resisting arrest. He was convicted of resisting an officer in February of the same year.
In March 2010, he was convicted of felony breaking and entering in connection with an incident in 2001.
Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms