Four officers killed, four injured, one dead suspect: Everything we know about the Charlotte shooting

‘North Carolina lost four heroes and saw four other heroes wounded,’ state governor said

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 30 April 2024 21:16 BST
CMPD updates on Charlotte police shooting, identifies victims

A team of police officers planned to “simply serve a warrant” on a convicted felon in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday. Instead, it turned into one of the deadliest days for law enforcement in recent history.

Four officers were killed and four others were injured after a suspect opened fire on them from the upper level at his surburban home.

The suspect, Terry Clark Hughes Jr, was fatally shot. An AR-15 rifle and a 40-calibre handgun were found in the home, along with two other individuals.

Their relationship to Hughes was not immediately clear. The pair haven’t been charged with a crime nor are they considered suspects. Authorities said they have not ruled out the possibility “that someone else was firing as well.”

As they grieve the loss of their own, police are investigating the incident. Here is everything we know about the Charlotte shooting.

What happened?

Law enforcement officers arrived at a home in the 5000 block of Galway Drive around 1.30pm on 29 April to serve a warrant when all hell broke loose, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings said at a Tuesday press conference.

The US Marshals Fugitive Task Force, composed of officers from 16 agencies across the state, were serving a 39-year-old Terry Clark Hughes Jr, a convicted felon with an extensive criminal record.

The scene of the shooting at 5525 Galway Drive in Charlotte, North Carolina (Getty Images)

Hughes was wanted for possession of a firearm by felon, and felony flee to elude out of Lincoln County, North Carolina.

When officers approached the home, shots were fired from an “elevated level” inside, the police chief said. The shooter was “ambushing” officers, making it hard for law enforcement officials to take cover, he added.

At some point, Hughes Jr exited his home, armed with a firearm. The officers “perceived an imminent deadly threat” and fired at Hughes in his front yard, killing him.

In total, eight officers were hit by gunshots.

Four were killed and four others have survived their injuries. Three of the fallen officers were members of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force while one was a CMPD officer.

Police Chief Johnny Jennings wipes away tears as he speaks at a press conference on Tuesday (AP)

The investigation into the tragedy is ongoing.

After the incident, police found “well over 500 rounds of projectiles and casings” inside the home, said Police Chief Johnny Jennings, who wiped away tears at the press conference.

Authorities recovered an AR-15 rifle and a 40-calibre handgun along with additional magazines and ammunition for both firearms.

Police are not “not ruling out the possibility that someone else was firing as well,” Chief Jennings said. He explained that authorities believe there could have been more than one shooter since shots were being fired “down at the officers both front and back.”

Despite this theory, police are “not looking or interested in any additional suspects or any persons of interest.”

There were two others inside the home. One is a 17-year-old girl and the other a woman who is “a little older.” Their relationship to Hughes was not made clear but they were in the home “voluntarily,” Chief Jennings said.

The pair were taken in for interviews with detectives on Monday and have been cooperating, he said.

Who was the suspect?

Hughes was 39 years old, five-foot-nine, and 180 pounds. Officers had been attempting to serve felony warrants on him on Monday.

North Carolina criminal records show he has an extensive rap sheet with many drug-related charges.

Hughes also faced charges of aggravated assault against a female in 2010; multiple counts of possession of firearm by felon; multiple counts of fleeing to elude arrest; reckless driving to endanger as well as communicating threats — a charge brought by his father.

Booking photo of Terry Clark Hughes Jr. He was killed after a stand-off by police on Monday (MCSO)

Hughes was previously convicted of weapon law violations and breaking and entering.

When asked on Tuesday whether someone like Hughes should have been allowed to be on the streets, Chief Jennings said that he had spent “a significant amount of time in jail and had been released.”

That being said, the chief added: “I can give you hundreds of examples of people that I feel like should not be out praying upon his citizens…our system is not completely where it needs to be.”

Who were the involved officers?

Four officers were killed in the shooting. They have been dubbed “heroes” by their superiors.

Three of the officers killed were members of the US Marshal Fugitive Task Force: Sam Poloche and Alden Elliott of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections and Thomas Weeks, a deputy US Marshal.

A fourth victim, Joshua Eyer, was an officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Four other officers were injured, all CMPD officers.

Left to right: Joshua Eyer, Sam Poloche, Alden Elliott and Thomas Weeks. The four officers were killed in the shootout with a convicted criminal (NC Secretary of Adult Correction/CMPD)

Officer Chris Tolley underwent surgery and on Tuesday morning was in stable condition.

Officers Mike Giglio and Jack Blowers suffered from gunshot wounds. Both were released from hospital on Monday.

Officer Joshua Campbell was not shot, but sustained a broken foot. He was discharged from hospital on Tuesday morning.

Chief Jennings said that the “officers were at a disadvantage because” the shooter fired from an elevated level. On top of this, he noted that their body armor “cannot withstand a rifle round.”

On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper said: “North Carolina lost four heroes and saw four other heroes wounded.”

“We are grateful for their bravery and courage,” he added.

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