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'Never experienced anything like that' | New details in investigation after shooting death of Officer Tyler Herndon

Mount Holly Police Officer Tyler Herndon was killed in the line of duty last month. Newly unsealed search warrants may show the moments before he was fatally shot.

MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. — Newly-obtained court documents have shed light on what, investigators believe, were the moments leading up to Mount Holly Police Officer Tyler Herndon's death last month.

The man accused of shooting and killing Officer Herndon, Joshua Funk, remains in jail on a first-degree murder charge.

According to unsealed search warrants, Mount Holly Police officers arrived at Mount Holly Car Wash around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 11 to investigate a reported breaking and entering.

Investigators said the arcade's surveillance cameras, which were being monitored by someone in near real-time, showed Funk standing by the door while smoking cigarettes.

Officers said as they pulled up, they saw Funk walking out the front door.

Search warrants said officers ordered Funk to stop, but he started running to the back of the car wash.

As officers ran after him, investigators say Funk pulled out a Sig Sauer nine-millimeter handgun and shot Officer Herndon.

Jason Self's apartment overlooked the car wash, and he was startled awake by the gunshots.

"From the wooded area there, I could see the blue lights on this side," Self said. "As I looked across, I see a person and he's kind of hunched in the back."

Self continued, "The first thing I hear is 'hands up,' and I'm looking at him and he doesn't move, and then they say 'hands up' again, and he starts to move. I turned because I thought we were going to get more gunfire."

Investigators said officers returned fire and shot Funk in the legs.

Chris Daywalt watched from his back door as officers picked up Funk and took him away.

"Next thing you know, they were making sure that the building didn't have anyone else in it with lasers," Daywalt said. "It seemed like a scene out of a movie. Never experienced anything like that in my life."

Officer Herndon was pronounced dead at CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia.

RELATED: 'He was courageous' | Mount Holly officer Tyler Herndon's life celebrated through prayer, songs, tears

According to search warrants, detectives found Funk's car about 300 to 400 yards away off Louise Avenue.

Court documents said in an interview with detectives, Funk's girlfriend said he had been acting differently and noticeably on edge in the months before the shooting.

Among the items investigators said they seized in Funk's car and at his house were ammunition, multiple shell casings, and a Marine Corps ring and certificate.

According to U.S. Department of Defense records, Funk served in the Marine Corps from Jan. 23, 2017, to Jan. 5, 2018.

Funk is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 4, 2021.

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