CMPD officers shoot man accused of holding pregnant woman hostage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers shot a man Monday night while he was holding a pregnant woman hostage during a home invasion, authorities said.

Officers said they were called to Holly Street after a 911 caller said a gunman had forced his way into a home.

Officers said they saw the suspect, Johnathan Autry, holding the woman at gunpoint and repeatedly told him to drop his gun and let the woman go.

"Yeah, he was holding a gun to her head," a witness said. "He kept saying 'I'll shoot her, I'll shoot her.' He wasn't talking to the lady, he was talking to the cops."

Witnesses said the victim was forced to walk across the street at gunpoint.

"He had about 20 police with guns on all sides of him," said Rufus Worthey, who lives in the neighborhood and witnessed the incident. "They kept telling him to drop the gun a million times, and I kept saying he better drop that gun."

The woman managed to create a slight separation between herself and the suspect while police continued to order him to drop the weapon, investigators said.

"She started fighting him and she did break away," Worthey said. "She got about 5 feet."

The three officers perceived an imminent deadly threat and fired their weapons, hitting Autry multiple times.

"Did he ever drop the gun?" Worthey said. "Did he ever do what they asked him to do? No."

Autry was taken to a hospital where he's listed in critical but stable condition.

An investigation determined that the home was not randomly targeted, even thought the woman did not know Autry. Police believe the gunman used the name of the victim's husband when demanding the family's money. The husband was not at home at the time of the incident.

Autry will be charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon once he's released from the hospital.

CMPD identified the three officers as Officer Shon Sheffield, Officer Joseph Bauer and Officer James Tindall. All three have been placed on administrative leave.

Sheffield has been with CMPD since August 2012. Bauer has been with CMPD since October 2013. Tindall has been with CMPD since October 2015. All three are assigned to the Metro Division.

Witnesses told police a second suspect may have been involved in the home invasion. They described him as a short, heavyset black male wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.