Concord, NC – Concord Police Department (CPD) Officer Jason Shuping was murdered in the line of duty during an exchange of gunfire with an alleged carjacker 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.
Officers exchanged gunfire with a 29-year-old suspect, who was later confirmed to be a convicted felon, WCCB reported.
His identity has not been released.
Officer Shuping, 25, was hit during the gunfight and died from his wounds at the scene, according to WCNC.
A 23-year-old second officer was also wounded by gunfire, according to the Charlotte Observer.
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.
No officers were injured during the second exchange of gunfire, according to Chief Gacek.
The wounded officer who survived the initial attack is expected to recover.
Chief Gacek said he had requested that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) handle the investigation into the shootings.
Investigators did not release any information about what may have caused the initial car crash.
Officer Shuping’s murder was the first line-of-duty death in the history of the CPD, WCNC reported.
He served the department for less than two years, according to the Charlotte Observer.
“This loss is devastating not only to the member’s family and loved ones but every police officer across the city, state, and country. Please join us by praying for all involved,” the CPD tweeted.
Officer Shuping leaves behind his wife, Haylee, according to his Facebook page.
A police procession escorted the fallen officer’s body from Concord to the medical examiner’s office in Charlotte at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, WSOC reported.
“This tragic and senseless loss of our CPD family is devastating,” Chief Gacek said during the press conference. “It’s tragic incidents like these that serve as a grim reminder of the fact that police officers take an oath to serve their community and lay their lives on the line.”
3-year-Old Carter lives in Concord. He left his toy, Paw Patrol character ‘Chase’, at the memorial for the fallen Concord Police Officer. His mom told me Carter wanted to give his toy because he knows “Paw Patrol helps people”. pic.twitter.com/kTvzMa2Nwr
— Kristi O'Connor WBTV (@KristiOConnor_) December 17, 2020
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
— John Paul (@JPaulWSOC9) December 17, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Concord Police Department Officer Jason Shuping, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Jason Shuping, your life mattered.