CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The shootout outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters comes as the city struggles with a high violent crime rate.
City leaders said they are thankful for the bravery of officers and are offering support for the families affected.
Just 12 days into 2018, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles condemns Thursday’s ambush attack on police officers.
“It's just unacceptable,” Lyles said.
CMPD officers returned fire and killed 23-year old Jonathan Bennett Thursday afternoon. Hours earlier, police said Bennett shot and killed his girlfriend, 24-year-old Brittany White.
Lyles said the city will offer support for the couple's children, who will grow up without parents.
“Being able to have the support system of every part of our community is going to be important to that family,” Lyles said. “We have many segments of our community that are hurting tonight."
Councilman Braxton Winston said it is important for community conversations to continue, especially since the violence started with a domestic situation.
“How do we treat each other better? How do we do this better?” Winston said.
Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt, who chairs the community safety committee, said the city will work with CMPD police Chief Kerr Putney.
“I think it highlights how vulnerable our officers are and how dangerous this is,” Eiselt said.
Lyles said she hopes Officer Casey Shue, who was shot in the leg Thursday, heals quickly.
“If she is watching this right now, I say, 'Officer Shue, we are proud of you and we are hoping you will have a great recovery very quickly,’” Lyles said.
Lyles said one of her priorities in 2018 is to create a culture of safety in the community. She said she will continue to stay in contact with the police chief about Thursday’s shootout.
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