CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two teens were arrested in connection to a shooting of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer early Sunday morning during a home invasion.
Police charged 19-year-old Kevin Watson McClary with two counts of armed robbery, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, first degree burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Mauricio Gabriel Salazar-Peiti, 17, was charged with two counts of accessory after the fact armed robbery, accessory after the fact attempted murder, accessory after the fact assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, accessory after the fact first degree burglary and felony possession of stolen goods.
CMPD said in a statement that officer Jon Dunham, who is currently assigned to Metro Division, was off-duty when McClary and Salazar-Peiti broke into his apartment on Montcrest Drive, near Archdale Drive, just before 6:15 Sunday morning.
McClary and Salazar-Peiti took property and shot Dunham during a confrontation, then ran off, said police.
Dunham was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with injuries that are not considered life-threatening and was kept overnight for observation, according to the statement.
Dunham’s son, who was in the apartment during the break-in, was not injured in the shooting, said a woman who identified herself as Dunham’s wife.
CMPD said Dunham has been with the department since August 2008. A city website pictures him with an award for Officer of the Month in March 2013.
Neighbors said Dunham had lived in the apartment for about a month.
Officers scoured the apartment complex for several hours Sunday morning looking for the gunman, using police K-9’s and a helicopter. Residents like Rick Headen were told to stay inside for their own safety.
“They were concentrating on this area this morning, because no one could move this way” said Headen, pointing to buildings behind where Dunham lived. “They wouldn't let you stick your head out the door. They wouldn't let you go out on your balcony. They'd always wave you back, ‘nuh-uh – close the door’.”
By mid-afternoon, crime scene investigators cleared the scene, allowing Dunham’s fellow officers in Metro Division to come in and remove the rest of his possessions. Two hours later, detectives returned with about two dozen officers to help scour the ground outside for evidence.
Neighbors looked on, remarking about the manpower involved in the investigation.
“I've never seen this many cars -- this many police cars -- to do what?” said Headen. “I'm curious.”
So was neighbor Roberto Espinosa. “Very shocking. I’ve never heard of a home invasion in this area,” he said.
Based on information and evidence gathered during the investigation, detectives were able to identify McClary as the suspect who shot Dunham and Salazar-Peiti as an accomplice to the robbery and shooting
McClary and Salazar-Peiti were located and arrested by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s VCAT Unit Sunday evening without incident.
A teen and an older man with a bandage said two people had been robbed at the complex in the last three days by a man with a baseball bat, but police weren’t available to say whether they believe the robberies may be connected to the home invasion.
Detectives ask that anyone with information call the CMPD tip line at 704-432-TIPS, or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.