CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said the suspect in a west Charlotte homicide is dead after ambushing several officers outside headquarters Thursday night.
Investigators said one of the officers was shot in the leg during the incident outside the law enforcement center in uptown Charlotte. She was identified late Friday morning as Officer Casey Shue. Shue was hired on July 21, 2014, and is assigned to the North Tryon Division Crime Reduction Unit.
Two CMPD officers and two probation officers fired their weapons during this incident. The CMPD officers have been identified as Jeffrey Zederbaum and Jared Decker. Officer Zederbaum was hired on January 12, 2009, and is assigned to the North Tryon Division Crime Reduction Unit. Officer Decker was hired on July 21, 2014, and is also assigned to the North Tryon Division Crime Reduction Unit.
The shootout between the suspect and officers happened around 10:45 p.m. as our NBC Charlotte crew was getting ready to go live for the 11:00 p.m. newscast. Officers were standing outside of CMPD headquarters.
"As they were briefing out in the parking lot the suspect, the homicide suspect from earlier today that we had been looking for in a white SUV, pulled in and basically ambushed our officers," Chief Kerr Putney said.
Officers returned fire.
MEDIC said two patients were taken to Carolinas Medical Center, one with serious injuries and one with minor injuries.
Putney confirmed the officer's injuries were not life threatening, and the suspect, Jonathan Bennett, was shot. He died later at the hospital.
This is all connected to a homicide that happened Thursday afternoon in west Charlotte.
Shortly after 2:00 p.m. officers responded to the 4100 block of Carlyle Drive and discovered the body of a woman. She has been identified as 24-year-old Brittany White, the first homicide victim of 2018 in the Queen City.
"We believe this to be a senseless act of domestic violence," a CMPD officer said.
Investigators were searching for the suspect, 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett. He was last seen driving an older, white Ford Expedition with New York license plates HUP3071.
Detectives said Bennett took his daughter, Journei Bennett, with him. An Amber Alert was issued briefly, but around 5:30 p.m., police said the child had been found safe.
Journei was taken to Bennett's grandmother's house in north Charlotte.
NBC Charlotte spoke to the grandmother who was too upset to talk on camera, but said she hadn't spoken to Bennett in over a week.
Police told NBC Charlotte another child had been found on the scene of the homicide unharmed.
We checked into Bennett's criminal history. He's been charged in the past with assault on a female, communicating threats and misdemeanor larceny.
Thursday night, neighbors begged Bennett to turn himself in.
"I'm at a loss for words. I don't understand why you did what you did. You could've talked it out or came and talked to me," said Vincent Tillery.
Police had been searching for Bennett all day Thursday. He was driving a white SUV with New York license plates. Sources from inside CMPD told NBC Charlotte the suspect changed his license plate and removed his New York tags before he pulled into CMPD headquarters in an effort to catch officers by surprise.
"Times like this make you appreciate people who voluntarily put their lives on the line to keep us safe," Putney said.
Officer Shue is expected to be ok.
As is standard procedure with any officer involved shooting, the Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were adhered to during the course of the incident. Per department protocol, the officers involved in this case are on Administrative Leave.
"If someone wants to ambush one of us they can do that virtually anywhere," Putney said. "So again, I hope that we'd be a little more thankful about the officers who do this work because this kind of puts it into perspective. It's a dangerous job. Not everybody is willing to do it and very few do. I'm humbled to be part such a profession of people willing to put their lives at risk like this."
Stay with wcnc.com for the latest on this developing story.