A Concord, NC, police officer was shot and killed and another officer wounded in a gunfight with a carjacking suspect late Wednesday night. The suspect was killed.
Concord officials identified the fatally shot officer as Jason Shuping, 25, who had been with the department since 2019. The wounded officer was identified as Kaleb Robinson, 23. He suffered minor injuries, officials said.
The gun battle occurred just before 11 p.m. in the parking lot of a Sonic Drive-In near the popular Concord Mills shopping and entertainment complex, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Investigators said the incident began with a 911 call about a crashed car on northbound Interstate 85. An on-duty state Alcohol Law Enforcement agent responded to the scene, and found an abandoned vehicle that had crashed into a guardrail, officials said.
Concord Police Chief Gary Gacek said a Concord PD officer also arrived and a woman passing by told them that a man had just tried to carjack her near the Sonic restaurant, just down the road. The CPD officer stayed at the crash scene while the ALE agent drove to the Sonic, WSOC reports.
According to the chief, the ALE agent and two other CPD officers -- later identified Shuping and Robinson -- saw a man matching the description given by the woman, and approached him outside the Sonic. That is when the suspect pulled out a handgun and began shooting.
Both Shuping and Robinson were hit and wounded. Shuping did not survive.
As those shots were fired, Gacek said two more CPD officers arrived and saw Robinson, who was wounded, guarding his fellow fallen officer. They also saw the suspect climb into an SUV that belonged to a Sonic employee.
There was an exchange of gunfire between the two responding officers and the suspect. The suspect was shot and killed, according to Gacek.
“This tragic and senseless loss of our CPD family is devastating,” the chief said, speaking of Shuping, at his news conference. “It’s tragic incidents like these that serve as a grim reminder of the fact that police officers take an oath to serve their community and lay their lives on the line.”