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Charlotte man arrested in hate-speech threats, park ranger shooting


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said Tuesday that they arrested a man in connection to the shooting of a park ranger and Monday's hate speech and threats toward children at Marzetta Kerry Development Center.

Tyson Lee Corpening, 36, faces multiple charges in the cases, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, damage to property, ethnic intimidation, possession of a firearm by a felon and threat of mass violence on educational property.

Tyson Corpening
Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office
Jail Intake Records
Tyson Corpening

On Monday, CMPD officers responded to a 911 call at the daycare center, which is located on the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church campus. Teachers reported that a rock was thrown through a window and into the building with a hate message and threats to children on it.

Police said that no students were harmed during the incident and parents were alerted. The FBI joined the investigation, and CMPD asked the public for their assistance.

One factor that raised extra concern: Police said they discovered evidence that the rock-throwing and threats against children were connected to the shooting last month of a Mecklenburg County Park Ranger at a recreational center located just around the block from the daycare. The park ranger was wounded but is expected to recover. Both facilities are located in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

Tuesday morning, CMPD said that their SWAT team executed a search warrant and arrested Corpening. Investigators didn't say what led them to suspect him.

Both the daycare and the park ranger have been notified about the arrest.

Corpening is being held in the Mecklenburg County jail. Bail has not been set. Criminal records show he has faced numerous charges in the past, and has been convicted of offenses including larceny and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

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Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.
Ely Portillo has worked as a journalist in Charlotte for over a decade. Before joining WFAE, he worked at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Charlotte Observer.