Concord, NC – One Concord police officer was killed and another was wounded in a gun battle late on Wednesday night.
The incident began at about 10:18 p.m. on Dec. 16 near the Sonic restaurant at Gateway Lane and Bruton Smith Boulevard, WCNC reported.
Police responded to the scene for a report of a vehicle that had crashed on Bruton Smith Boulevard.
Concord Police Chief Gary Gacek told reporters at a press conference early Thursday morning that a citizen nearby told officers that a man had just tried to steal her vehicle.
Chief Gacek said two Concord police officers and an Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agent approached the suspect in the nearby Sonic parking lot.
The chief said that was when the suspect pulled out a gun and started shooting at the officers.
Chief Gacek said officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect.
One officer was fatally shot and died at the scene, WCNC reported.
A second officer was wounded by gunfire.
At about the same time, two additional Concord police officers arrived on the scene, the police chief said.
Chief Gacek said the arriving officers saw one officer down and another wounded officer standing over him trying to protect him.
Then they found the suspect in an SUV that didn’t belong to him, the chief said.
He said there was a second gun battle and the suspect was fatally shot by police.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, according to WCNC.
The officers involved were not shot during the second exchange of gunfire, according to Chief Gacek.
The chief told reporters that the officer who had been shot had not sustained life-threatening wounds.
He said that officer was transported to the hospital for treatment and was expected to survive.
Chief Gacek said he had requested that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) handle the investigation into the shootings.
He said that authorities had no information yet about what caused the initial car crash.
This is the first time that a Concord police officer has been killed in the line of duty, WCNC reported.
1/3 With a heavy heart, we confirm that two Concord Police Officers were involved in an incident resulting in the tragic loss of a CPD officer. The second officer was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. pic.twitter.com/h10AGgpDRN
— Concord, NC Police (@ConcordNCPolice) December 17, 2020
#BREAKING I’ve just learned this is the first Concord PD officer to be killed in the line of duty. The Chief’s priority right now is to make sure the rest of the dept. is okay. Chaplins are being brought in to help grieving officers. The chief will hold a presser after 7A. @wcnc https://t.co/l5WViqXeGQ
— Billie Jean Shaw (@BillieJeanTV) December 17, 2020
Sheriff Kevin Tolson & the entire #YCSOFamily sends our most heartfelt condolences to the Concord Police Dept., family & friends. An officer was killed in the line of duty late last night. A second officer was wounded. Lift up @ConcordNCPolice during this difficult time #YCSONews pic.twitter.com/Zqo8pbPrEm
— YCSO_SC (@YCSO_SC) December 17, 2020
This is the second officer killed in the line of duty in the Charlotte area in the past week.
Mount Holly Police Officer Tyler Herndon was murdered during a gunfight with an armed burglary suspect on Dec. 11.
Chief Gacek said the three officers who were involved in the incident and survived have been placed on paid administrative leave while the shootings are investigated, as is protocol for all officer involved shootings.
Police have not yet released the names of the officers who were killed and wounded, nor have they released any information regarding the identity of the gunman.
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