CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A man wanted for allegedly killing his girlfriend Thursday afternoon on Carlyle Drive in west Charlotte was killed during a shootout outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters late Thursday night, police said.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney told Channel 9 that Jonathan Bennett, 23, ambushed and shot at officers who were standing outside headquarters around 10:45 p.m., and officers returned fire.
Bennett was hit and fell to the ground. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
One female officer was taken to the hospital after being shot in the leg but is expected to be OK. Her name has not yet been released.
“It’s obvious he knew we were looking for him,” Putney said. “Times like this make you appreciate people who voluntarily put their lives on the line to keep us safe.”
Putney said the group of six or eight officers was being briefed on an unrelated investigation in the parking lot when Bennett pulled up and started shooting.
Police had been looking all day for Bennett, who police said shot and killed his girlfriend, Brittany White, the mother of his 2-month-old daughter.
They said Bennett vanished with the child, who was later found safe and unharmed.
Putney said he doesn’t know why Bennett came to attack officers.
“He ambushed us, he shot at us, that’s about all we’re aware of at this time,” the chief said. “We don’t know about any conversation that preceded it.”
RECAP | Police say:
• homicide suspect Jonathan Bennett dead
• Bennett ambushed 6-8 officers not related to case; Bennett believed to have fired multiple rounds
• CMPD fired multiple rounds back
• female officer shot in leg; non-life threatening injuries @wsoctvpic.twitter.com/H0UeOv5JPk
— Stephanie Tinoco (@STinocoWSOC9) January 12, 2018
Channel 9 crews were outside CMPD headquarters in uptown when the chaotic scene unfolded.
Reporter DaShawn Brown said she was getting ready for her live shot around 10:45 p.m. from CMPD headquarters when she heard about 12 shots fired.
WSOC-TV cameraman Corey Gensler tweeted that he was outside CMPD headquarters next to what appeared to be a Violent Criminal Apprehension Team officer and two female officers when a man walked up and a shootout ensued.
I was sitting at @cmpd hq waiting on a perp walk literally right next to what appeared to be VCAT officers and two uniform female officers when a subject walked up … A shootout ensued
— Corey Gensler (@CoreyWSOC9) January 12, 2018
After about a dozen shots the suspect was down and the officer was in the bushes and could be heard screaming… they placed the the officer in the back of a patrol car.
— Corey Gensler (@CoreyWSOC9) January 12, 2018
Gensler continued to tweet that after about a dozen shots, the suspect was down and an officer was in the bushes and could be heard screaming.
The officer was placed in the back of a patrol car and tended to before being taken to the hospital.
Sources told Channel 9 that a female officer was shot in the leg and Brown said she saw officers hustle and she ducked for cover before surrounding a body.
CMPD headquarters was surrounded by officers and East Trade Street was blocked off.
Early Friday morning, Channel 9 watched as detectives continued to gather evidence and eventually towed the suspect’s white SUV from the parking lot.
There are two parallel investigations taking place, Putney said. One into the shooting and the other an internal investigation into the officers’ response, both of which are standard procedure.
Channel 9 crews routinely stake out CMPD headquarters for video of suspects being brought into custody, which is why they were there when Bennett pulled up and began shooting.
Channel 9 employees, a reporter and two photographers, had to take cover but are safe and were not injured.
2-month-old girl found safe after child’s mother shot to death
With detectives on her doorstep and a team of officers lined up around her home, a grandmother told Channel 9 her grandson was wanted for murder.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a 2-month-old baby was found safe and unharmed after police officers investigating a homicide discovered the child was missing.
Officers responded to a call of shots fired Thursday afternoon on Carlyle Drive.
When they arrived, police found 24-year-old Brittany White shot and killed inside the home, and here baby missing.
The investigation set off a massive search for baby Journei Bennett. Police were in the process of putting out an Amber Alert when the child was dropped off at a north Charlotte home.
“His grandmother, you know, she’s nice as can be,” neighbor Jimmy Rape said. “I just hate to see her have to go through this again.”
A source said Journei will be staying with family.
A second child was found in the home and was unharmed.
Police began searching for the suspect, 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett, who they considered armed and dangerous. They said he was last seen driving an older model white Ford Expedition with New York license plates HUP-3071.
Bennett was shot and killed in a shootout with police outside CMPD headquarters in uptown late Thursday night.
Neighbors Channel 9 spoke with were shocked.
“I knew him for a couple years — four, five years,” said Rahshawn Johnson. “I didn’t see this coming though.”
Suspect’s criminal history
Channel 9 dug into Bennett’s criminal past and discovered he is no stranger to police.
State records show Bennett is a convicted felon. He served time in prison in 2013 for breaking and entering and larceny.
Records show Bennett was arrested twice in 2017. In March, he was arrested for assault on a female and misdemeanor larceny. Then, two and a half weeks later, he was arrested again for communicating threats.
Channel 9 discovered that Bennett was arrested for similar charges in 2016.
Eyewitness News also found court records showing that a restraining order had been filed against Bennett in 2016 and that he filed one against a woman in April.
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