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Man charged in police slayings (S C )


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  • Man charged in police slayings (S C )


    Less than 24 hours after the fatal shootings of two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers, a 25-year old Charlotte man has been charged with murder.

    Demetrius Antonio Montgomery of Birchbark Lane in Charlotte faces two counts of first-degree murder. Montgomery has a lengthy arrest record dating to January 1998, according to police.

    Officers Sean Clark and Jeffrey Shelton both died at Carolinas Medical Center early today. They were the first Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers fatally shot in the line of duty in more than a decade. The two North Tryon division officers were called out to handle a reported disturbance at 10:26 p.m. at the Timber Ridge Apartments on Barrington Drive near Milton Road and East W.T. Harris Boulevard, police said.

    They were shot around 11:15 p.m., police said, while struggling with a person in the apartment complex parking lot. Neither officer fired his weapon, police said.

    No one else was injured.

    A man at the complex who declined to give his name says everything started around 10:30 p.m.

    “Me and my daughter were standing at the door and I heard ‘bam, bam, bam’ five times,” he said. “I saw a guy wearing dark clothes run down here. I didn’t ever go down there, but somebody said two police were down there dead.”

    Medic ambulances and the fire department were called at 11:21 p.m. and arrived four minutes later. They rushed the officers to Carolinas Medical Center’s main hospital.

    Asked whether these shootings were tied to Friday’s arrests of alleged members of the Hidden Valley Kings gang, Stephens said “that was the thinking early this morning, but there’s no indication so far”

    Spokeswoman Julie Hill also added that investigators do not believe the officers were lured to the complex in an ambush. Thorough searches of the area have been completed, but Stephens said that he’s not at liberty to say what was found.

    The officers

    Clark, 34, who had worked for the department for just over a year, died shortly after midnight. He was a 1991 graduate of West Mecklenburg High School and lived in Iron Station in Lincoln County. He has a toddler son, and his wife is expecting a child in June. Officer Shelton, 35, who had been with the force for more than six years, was pronounced dead just after 4 a.m. He transferred from the South division in January as part of the department’s redistricting.

    Capt. Mike Adams called Shelton a “very hard-working” officer who worked the midnight shift along the South Boulevard corridor before the transfer, making a dent in crime there. But as the police started to redraw lines, Adams said Shelton requested to move to a new assignment. He had been working in North Tryon since mid-January. He was married and lived in Locust in Stanly County.

    “It’s heartbreaking,” Officer Bob Fey, a CMPD officer who was working off-duty at the time, told WCNC. “Just hearing a call like that going out over the air just hearing the dispatcher say those words over the air, ‘We have two officers shot in the North Tryon Division,’ it just makes your heart skip a beat.”

    Shot in the line of duty

    The last time an officer from the department was fatally shot in the line of duty was in 1993, when the city was a smaller place but had a record year of violence with 129 homicides.

    Officers John Burnette, 25, and Andy Nobles, 26, were shot to death after responding to a call about a stolen van. Alden Harden was convicted of shooting Burnette and Nobles as the officers chased him through woods near Boulevard Homes in southwest Charlotte. He was sentenced to death.

    Streets near the crime scene were renamed for the two popular community officers, and there also is a memorial bearing their names in Sharon Memorial Park in east Charlotte.

    This latest police shooting came almost exactly a year after Officer Kayvan Hazrati was shot in the head while trying to serve a rape warrant against a man in northern Charlotte. He survived the shooting but has not yet returned to work. Another officer was also shot at during a standoff with the same suspect but his helmet deflected the bullet.

    Police have not yet said whether Clark and Shelton were wearing their bulletproof vests Saturday night.

    The scene

    After Saturday’s shooting, Milton Road was blocked off for several hours overnight while police searched for the suspects, but it has since reopened. A SWAT team, K-9 units and a police helicopter were called to assist police.

    At the complex Sunday morning, a playground with a blue slide remained marked off by police tape at the center of the Timber Ridge apartment complex, which is full of two-story apartments with red bricks, beige siding and iron railings. Timber Ridge apartments is managed by the Westminster Company.

    Neighbors say they hear gunshots often in the neighborhood.

    “Many a night, I had to lay on the floor. I say ‘get down, get down,’ and I pull my grandbabies on the floor,” said a woman who declined to give her name because of fear of retribution. “When I call them (the police), it takes them forever to come.”

    No funeral arrangements or memorials have been announced.

    Police asked Sunday that the public pray for Clark, Shelton and their families.

    -- Staff writers April Bethea, Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Observer news partner WCNC contributed.

    -- Read tomorrow's Charlotte Observer for more details on this developing story.

    Have a Tip?

    Police ask anyone with information about the shooting to call 911.

    The Timeline


    • 10:26 p.m.: Officer Sean Clark, 34 and Officer Jeff Shelton, 35, respond to a disturbance call at Timber Ridge apartments off Barrington Drive near Milton Road. It’s possible that a second, higher priority police call may have come in and they might have left to take care of that call, police spokeswoman Julie Hill said. They then would have returned to the Timber Ridge complex where things escalated.

    • About 11:15 p.m.: Both officers are shot while struggling with a person in the parking lot of the apartment complex, police said. They never got to the initial disturbance call, Hill said.

    • 11:21 p.m.: Medic, Mecklenburg County’s emergency medical service, and the Charlotte Fire Department are called about a shooting there. They are told by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police one officer has been shot.

    • 11:25 p.m.: Charlotte firefighters are the first to arrive. They learn en route a second officer was shot. Ambulances arrive soon afterward, but must stay several blocks away until police can make sure it’s safe for them to enter, said Medic spokesman John Deem.

    • 11:29 p.m.: Emergency vehicles are allowed onto the scene to help the officers.

    • 11:30 p.m.: Medical workers make first contact with the officers.

    • 11:50 p.m.: Both officers have arrived at the hospital by ambulance.

    • 12:14 a.m.: Clark dies in the emergency department at Carolinas Medical Center.

    • 4:06 a.m.: Shelton dies at the hospital.

    • 5:30 a.m.: Police Chief Darrel Stephens addresses the media.

    • 8:40 a.m.: Police lead a witness, who appears to be a teenager, from one of the apartment buildings. He covers his head with a hoodie.

    • 9 a.m.: Officers conduct a search for shell casings at the apartment complex. More than a dozen officers canvassed the neighborhood in the drizzle Sunday morning, using metal detectors to search for shell casings in bushes and trees after using batons to push away plants and litter.

    • 5 p.m.: Police announce they have a suspect in custody but have not pressed charges against him. They said they are continuing to question him tonight.

    • 8:25 p.m.: Police announce that Demetrius Antonio Montgomery has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

  • #2
    If you are the guilty party, I hope you rot in he*l you POS!!!!!
    "Say hello to my leeeetle friend"


    • #3
      Thanks for the update. Looks like two good guys killed by a fine upstanding taxpayer. If he's guilty, I hope he rides the lightning. God bless all the families involved. Even the bad guy's, they need prayers too.


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