• Infants who lose primary caregivers could have difficulty developing

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A 2-month-old girl will grow up without her parents after tragic events unfolded Thursday.

    Her father, Jonathan Bennett, killed her mother, Brittany White Thursday afternoon in west Charlotte.

    Hours later, Bennett ambushed officers outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He was killed after shooting and injuring an officer.

    [CMPD chief on homicide suspect: 'He ambushed us, he shot at us' ]

    Sarah Greene with the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department said that type of trauma could affect the child's development for life.

    “Their brain chemistry and their wiring can be impacted in a way that they are biologically changed,” Greene said.

    Greene works with Child Development Community Policing, which consists of a team of licensed clinicians who respond with police officers to crime scenes 24/7 when something tragic happens.

    [CMPD addresses security following ambush at headquarters]

    Symptoms can be alarming when a child loses a primary caregiver, Greene said.

    “You can see horrible screaming and inconsolable crying,” Greene said. “They may not take food or may vomit or have severe diarrhea.”

    Children can also be resilient if they are placed in a familiar and stable environment with therapists helping their loved ones to cope.

    “That is one of the really important things is, ‘Who is going to be the caregiver and try to keep it as familiar and consistent as possible?’”

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