Four US officers killed in shootout at North Carolina home

Four officers on a US Marshals task force serving a warrant for a person wanted for possessing a firearm were killed and four others were wounded in a shootout on Monday at a North Carolina home, police said.

The US Marshals had attended an address in suburban Charlotte to arrest a wanted person on charges of possessing a firearm. However, the first shots were fired at authorities when they approached the home.

One man was shot and killed by authorities in the front yard of the home, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Johnny Jennings said.

He added that a second person then opened fire on law enforcement from inside the home, where police later found a high-powered rifle.

“Today we lost some heroes who were out simply trying to keep our community safe,” he said.

“A lot of the questions that need to be answered, we don’t even know what those questions are now.

“We have to get a full understanding of why this occurred and also uphold the integrity of the investigation.”

President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting and spoke with Charlotte mayor Vi Lyles to express his condolences and support for the community.

“They are heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, rushing into harm’s way to protect us,” Mr Biden said in a statement late on Monday.

“We mourn for them and their loved ones. And we pray for the recoveries of the courageous officers who were wounded.”

A woman and a 17-year-old male were found in the home, bringing the three-hour standoff to an end that had seen armoured vehicles crashing into the building of the suburban home, tearing off doorways and windows.

Authorities are now questioning the woman and teenager, Mr Jennings said.

The US Marshal Service confirmed one of its agents was killed and did not release a name.

Two officers from the state Department of Adult Correction also were killed, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said.

Three Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers who responded to the scene were also shot at while trying to rescue wounded officers, leaving one in a critical condition, Mr Jennings added.

Neighbours said gunfire continued for several minutes after the shooting erupted, with local resident Kiashia William saying she was driving home when she heard several shots separated by a few seconds.

“Ambulances, police and everything everywhere just started rushing down,” Ms Williams said.

The last US marshal to be shot and killed in the line of duty was in November 2018. Chase White was shot in Tucson, Arizona, by a man wanted for stalking local law enforcement officers, the agency said.


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