CHARLOTTE, N.C. – One of the officers involved in an overnight shootout with three armed suspects was cleared in a fatal shooting of an armed robbery suspect just over a year ago.
Officer Anthony Holzhauer is one of two officers on administrative leave after exchanging gunfire with three armed suspects at an industrial park on North Tryon Street early Sunday morning.
A little more than a year ago, Holzhauer was cleared in the fatal shooting of Michael Laney, 28, on the front porch of his home on Crestview Drive on July 3, 2012.
Police said at the time that Holzhauer had tried to pull Laney over as he rode his moped home because the moped matched the description of one used in an armed robbery the week before. Laney ran to his porch, where he scuffled with officers and Holzhauer shot him.
Police said Laney had a gun, and a district attorney’s investigation called the shooting justified.
In Sunday morning’s incident, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they received a call that people were sitting in a car at City North Business Center at 1800 N. Tryon Street, loading guns.
When officer Holzhauer and officer David Sussman arrived and got out of their patrol cars, the people in the suspect car starting shooting at them, according to a statement from CMPD.
Officers Holzhauer and Sussman returned fire and the car took off. No one was injured in the shooting.
Other officers spotted the car on N. Tryon Street and tried to stop it, but ended up chasing it into Cabarrus County. The chased ended with the help of Cabarrus County sheriff’s deputies on Hwy. 49 near Buffalo Hills Drive, and the car’s occupants were taken into custody.
CMPD said in the statement that two guns were found in the car.
Police charged Ramar Crump, Warren Lewis and Jamel Lewis with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon intent to kill, two counts of assault with a firearm on a government official and possession of firearm by convicted felon.
Kenny Green, who was waiting at the same area to get his hair cut Sunday afternoon, said he's surprised, but grateful, that no one was hurt in the shooting.
"Anytime you shoot at police and manage to walk away from that, they should be counting their blessings," he said.
Officer Holzhauer, a three-year veteran of CMPD, and officer Sussman, a 12-year veteran, are on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. Paid leave is standard in shootings involving officers.