Suspect shot, killed by officers in Kannapolis during child predator investigation

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Police said a man who thought he was meeting a 15-year-old girl for sex was shot and killed by authorities in Kannapolis.

The Kannapolis Police Department was working with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office on a joint operation. They were targeting people accused of internet crimes against children as well as child sex predators.

Kannapolis police said around 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, they went to Bellwood Place in Kannapolis to meet a 33-year-old man. The man had been chatting online with someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl, police said, and thought he was meeting her for sex.

When officers entered the home, they tried to take the suspect into custody but he resisted arrest, Kannapolis police said.

The suspect then took out a gun and shot at officers who were trying to arrest him, police said. Officers from both the Kannapolis Police Department and the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office returned fire, hitting the suspect who died at the scene.

“I was sitting on my porch smoking a cigarette when out of nowhere gunfire erupted,” said Cameron Ross, who lives a few doors down. “And I get up and I look over there and it’s ‘hella’ gunfire and smoke in the streets. It was wild ... I heard, easily, 30 (gunshots) before I went into my house to take cover.”

The suspect was identified Thursday as Lamar Deshawn Young, from Harrisburg.

No officers were hurt, authorities said. No one else was hurt.

Chopper 9 SkyZoom was overhead the scene just before 3 p.m. Nearly a dozen patrol cars from different law enforcement agencies were at the scene. Crime scene tape blocked off two streets in the area.

The deadly shooting was across the street from a shopping center.

“It’s a big shock,” said shopper Ashley Burris after learning about what happened nearby. “It’s a big shock for this area because it was a little town and it’s grown so quick.”

“I don’t feel sorry for him, but thankfully no children were hurt, and the officers are OK,” shopper Cassie Melchor said.

Authorities said Young had been released recently from prison on parole and was wearing an ankle monitor when the shooting happened.

Young had served time in both state and federal prison for manslaughter and several drug and weapons-related charges, investigators said.

Young’s family speaks

Young’s family admitted he had been in trouble with the law before, but said he was trying to turn his life around. They told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty on Thursday that they want to see any body camera video of what happened.

Joy Nicholson showed Faherty where more than a dozen rounds struck her brother’s car in Kannapolis.

“Very hard to believe because Lamar, he’s always been a very respectful person,” she said. “For him to be accused of something like that is really hard for me to grasp.”

Young’s great-uncle, Jeffrey Hampton, raised him after his mother died when he was just 7 years old.

“If he had money he would give it to you,” Hampton said. “If you needed a ride somewhere, anything like that.”

Young’s sister said her brother was trying to start his own business and was in disbelief over how his life ended.

“I just don’t believe it,” she said. “Just for the person he was, I don’t believe all that. And I hope somewhere down the line we get to see some footage of what actually happened.”

Per standard protocol, the shooting is being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. The officers involved have been put on administrative leave, which is also standard protocol.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Iconic bear-themed orchestra returns to Village Park in Kannapolis)

Hannah Goetz

Hannah Goetz, wsoctv.com

Hannah is a reporter for WSOC-TV.