US Marshals set up sniper inside neighbor’s home during SWAT situation

CHARLOTTE — A community was told to shelter in place while a massive amount of law enforcement personnel were called to the scene of a deadly shootout at an east Charlotte home. The order has been lifted.

Early Monday afternoon, the scene started to unfold at Galway Drive in a neighborhood near the intersection of Milton Road and The Plaza.

The U.S. Marshals went to the home to serve a warrant on a felony charge of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon, said Chief Johnny Jennings, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

A suspect met them with gunfire. U.S. Marshals returned fire and killed the suspect. More shooting came from inside the home, police said.

An hourslong standoff began, which ended with the loss of several lives.

Three members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, including a deputy marshal, and CMPD Officer Joshua Eyer, were killed, said Jennings.

Three more responding CMPD officers were shot, and another agent with the U.S. Marshals Task Force was also struck by gunfire.

The area was secured by late afternoon and neighbors were no longer asked to shelter in place. Authorities are questioning the people inside the home. The persons of interest are a woman and a juvenile.

“Today we lost some heroes that are out trying to simply keep our community safe,” said Jennings.

>>This is a developing story. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

‘Kept going and escalating’

Tyler Wilson and his roommates were sitting at home when they heard a loudspeaker outside.

They then heard gunshots at about 1:30 p.m.

“Then shots ringing left and right for 30 minutes,” Wilson said.

Officers needed access to his home and property.

“It just kept going and escalating, every window, cops kept coming in,” he said. “They were jumping over our fence, so I let them come through the house. They set up a U.S. marshal sniper in my room.”

The roommates described the scene that seemed like it was out of a Hollywood movie.

“It felt like a movie, and we had front-row seats,” Wilson said. “There were at least 100 gunshots. It was a lot.”

VIDEO BELOW: The situation impacted dismissals at three nearby Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.

Reactions from local and state officials have been pouring in

CMPD officers reopened the entrances and roads to Atrium Health Main late Monday afternoon.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and City Manager Marcus Jones went to the hospital.

Lyles tweeted, “I am deeply saddened by the shooting that occurred that involved Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and US Marshals today. I ask that all Charlotteans keep them, the other injured officers, and their families in your thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time.”

Statement from President Joe Biden:

Earlier today, four brave law enforcement officers - including a Deputy U.S. Marshal - were killed in the line of duty. They are heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, rushing into harm’s way to protect us. We mourn for them and their loved ones.

“And we pray for the recoveries of the courageous officers who were wounded. When a law enforcement officer puts on that shield in the morning and heads out the door, their family members dread the phone call – the very call that came today.

“It’s like losing a piece of your soul. To the families of those we lost: Jill and I, and all Americans, are here for you. And we will always be here for you. We must do more to protect our law enforcement officers. That means funding them - so they have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep us safe. And it means taking additional action to combat the scourge of gun violence. Now. Leaders in Congress need to step up so that we ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, require safe storage of guns, and pass universal background checks and a national red flag law. Enough is enough. May God Bless these fallen heroes.”

Mecklenburg County officials released the following statement:

“Leaders and staff from Mecklenburg County government, including the Board of County Commissioners and County Manager’s office, offer their condolences and support to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and our law enforcement community following the shooting deaths of three officers.

“The Board of County Commissioners joins the grieving families and community-at-large as we deal with this devastating loss,” said George Dunlap, chairman of the Board and a retired veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. “When such senseless and preventable tragedies occur in our community, everyone hurts.”

County Manager Dena R. Diorio also expressed her sympathy and offered condolences to the officers’ families, colleagues, friends, and neighbors.

“Our entire Mecklenburg County community feels the shock and the pain when such a tragedy occurs, and our prayers are with all affected,” said Diorio. “Mecklenburg County government stands ready to support our law enforcement colleagues and their families in any way we can as we all work through this heartbreaking situation.”

Evan Donovan

Evan Donovan, wsoctv.com

Evan is an anchor and reporter for Channel 9.

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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