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Homicide Suspect Dead After Ambushing Officers Outside CMPD Headquarters

Lisa Worf
The scene outside police headquarters following Thursday's night's shootout between police and murder suspect Jonathan Bennett.

Updated at 5:30pm:

CMPD has identified the officer who was shot in the leg as Casey Shue. She's expected to recover. Shue was hired in 2014 and assigned to the North Tryon Division Crime Reduction Unit. 

CMPD recognized her as "Officer of the Month" last August.  She was among a group of officers who were standing outside headquarters Thursday night when 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett drove up to the building and opened fire. 

CMPD says two CMPD officers and two probation officers returned fire.  The two officers with CMPD have been identified as North Tryon Division officers Jeffrey Zeberbaum and Jared Decker. Both are on administrative leave, as is standard after officer-involved shootings. Zeberbaum joined CMPD  in 2009 and Decker in 2014. 

Original article, posted at 2:30am.  

A murder suspect ambushed officers outside CMPD headquarters Thursday night by shooting at them. Officers returned fire and shot 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“He ambushed us, he shot at us,” CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said in a news conference at 12:30 a.m. outside police headquarters uptown.

A CMPD officer was shot in the leg and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Bennett had been wanted since Thursday afternoon for the shooting death of 24-year-old Brittany White. Police say they had a child together. White was shot and pronounced dead at a residence in West Charlotte, the city’s first homicide in 2018.

At about 3:50 p.m., police said that Bennett was the only suspect and that detectives believe he took their 3-month-old baby. CMPD issued a press released that said Bennett was believed to be driving an older white Ford Expedition.

At 5:40, CMPD announced the baby had been located and was safe, but that Bennett was still on the run and should be considered armed and dangerous.

At 10:49 p.m., Putney said Bennett drove onto CMPD’s parking lot in the Ford Expedition. Six to eight officers were outside, some of which were parole and probations officers. Bennett got out and started shooting.

Putney said he doesn’t know the type of gun that Bennett used, nor the number of shots fired. It’s not clear how many times Bennett was shot.

“We are trying to see if we have footage on camera. We’re not having much luck at this point. As far as body cameras, I doubt when you’re being ambushed you think to turn on a camera.”

Greg has been with WFAE since 2008 as news director, and was named executive editor in 2023. He came to WFAE from West Virginia Public Broadcasting. In his eight years there, Greg had roles as a reporter, editor and producer. He was the executive producer of a television newsmagazine and news director for radio and television when he decided to head south for Charlotte.
Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.