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Police Arrest Gunman Who Shot Officer In Back During Unprovoked Ambush

A 21-year-old man has been arrested for opening fire on two Statesville police officers.

Statesville, NC – Police have arrested a man for the Friday night ambush of two Statesville police officers.

Officer Tyler Horn’s ballistic vest took the brunt of the bullet that the alleged shooter, 21-year-old Keith Eugene Lackey, fired at the officer’s back, WBTV reported.

The incident occurred at approximately 11 p.m., as Officer Horn and an unnamed second officer were on foot patrol in the area of 5th Street and West Raleigh Avenue, the Statesville Record & Landmark reported.

The shooter, later identified as Lackey, stepped out of the shadows behind the officers and opened fire, Police Chief Joe Barone said.

It was unclear whether the officers returned fire, or how many times they were shot at by the assailant, who immediately fled the area.

Officer Horn, a four-year veteran of the force, was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital on Saturday morning.

“The fact that this is a dangerous job is never from the minds of our officers and their families. But we patrol and serve this community every single day,” Chief Barone told WBTV. “I got the phone call that one of my officers had been shot and my heart sunk. We are like family here and their welfare is important to me. I can’t thank them enough for the job they do for our city.”

On Tuesday, police arrested Lackey and charged him with two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and discharging a firearm in the city limits, WBTV reported.

He is being held at the Rowan County jail on $3 million bond, according to the Statesville Record & Landmark.

Lackey was previously arrested on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony breaking and entering, and assault with a deadly weapon for the Oct. 6, 2017 armed robbery of an occupied residence in eastern Iredell, the Statesville Record & Landmark reported.

He allegedly pointed a gun at two people’s heads, beat someone with the butt and magazine base of a weapon, and stole electronics, medication and purses during the midnight home invasion.

HollyMatkin - June Sun, 2018


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