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Suspect charged after Concord officer shoots him inside apartment, police say

CONCORD, N.C. — A man was shot by a Concord officer Wednesday after police said he fired a shotgun inside an apartment.

It happened at the Locke Mill Plaza off Buffalo Avenue Northwest, the police department said. A shotgun was fired inside an apartment at about 5:30 p.m. and a round went into a next-door unit, police said. No injuries were reported.

It’s not clear why the gun was fired.

The suspect fled before officers got to the scene, so they couldn’t find the shooter. They processed the scene and left.

The suspect, who police identified Thursday as 50-year-old Mark Donald Smith of Concord, returned shortly after that to his girlfriend’s apartment.

Police got a call Smith was there and responded to the apartment. The girlfriend let the officers inside, where they found Smith armed with a loaded shotgun. Despite officers telling him to put it down, he raised the gun and pointed it at officers, police said.

That was when an officer shot him twice.

“There is evidence that he intended to point the gun at the police officers when they were inside the apartment,” Major Todd McGhee said.

Smith was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released.

On Thursday, police said Smith had been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and one count of discharge weapon into occupied property.

‘I just heard a bunch of shouting’

Channel 9′s Anthony Kustrua spoke with neighbor Nancy Eckmeder who said she was walking her dog when she saw the heavy police presence in the area.

“I couldn’t tell what it was or what the heck was going on. I didn’t know who did it, what did it,” Eckmeder said. “I just heard a bunch of shouting and then the two shots.”

Kim Harrick, a neighbor and lawyer who often works with law enforcement, said she was unsettled when she heard what happened.

“They work really hard to make sure we’re safe. And you know the thought of law enforcement getting involved in something like that is always troubling,” Harrick explained.

She said she believes the neighbors who called 911 did the right thing. “If you feel like the authorities need to be involved, involve them,” Harrick said.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation into this shooting.

Smith is being held in the Cabarrus County jail with a $375,000 bond.

The mill where the shooting happened has been converted into apartments and business space.

Crisis Intervention Team

A spokesperson for the Concord Police Department said one of the officers who responded to the situation Wednesday evening was trained in crisis intervention. She said though the department does not have one specific Crisis Intervention Team, they are working toward training every officer in CIT.

There are 114 CIT-trained officers in the department currently, the spokesperson said.

“Police officers have a difficult and dangerous job,” the spokesperson said. “Last night, the suspect had already discharged a firearm into an adjacent, occupied apartment, refused repeated commands from officers to drop his loaded shotgun, and intentionally pointed the gun at officers. We are thankful that no residents or officers were injured during the incident.”


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