Murder and Kidnapping Suspect Killed in Shootout After Ambushing Police at Headquarters

By Ivan Pentchoukov

The North Carolina man accused of killing his girlfriend and kidnapping her 2-month-old child on Thursday afternoon drove up to the local police headquarters later that night, shot at officers in an ambush attack and was killed in the shootout, police say.

The gunman, Jonathan Bennett, 23, killed his girlfriend in west Charlotte at around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. First responders who discovered the body were unable to locate the woman’s child, WSOCTV reported. A brief Amber Alert was issued until the child was found safe four hours later at 5:30 p.m.

Police searched for Bennet late into the night, but he ended up coming to them. Bennet drove up to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters at approximately 10:30 p.m., got out and started shooting at officers who were meeting outside.

Bennet struck officer Casey Shue in the leg. The police officers at the scene then returned fire and shot Bennet.

Bennet fell to the ground and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Shue’s injury was not life-threatening. She was in good spirits at the hospital.

Shue had been on the force for more than three years and considered a top-notch officer. She received an “officer of the month” award in August.

“It’s obvious he knew we were looking for him,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney told WSOCTV. “Times like this make you appreciate people who voluntarily put their lives on the line to keep us safe.”

Police officials said that two police officers and two probation officers fire at Bennett. The police officers were identified as Jeffrey Zederbaum and Jared Decker, on the force since 2009 and 2014 respectively.

Zederbaum and Jared Decker have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

The probation officers were not identified.

Police identified Bennett’s slain girlfriend as Brittany White. Bennett vanished with her 2-month-old child after killing her, according to police.

Police Officer Casey Shue (L) Jonathan Bennett (R) (CMPD)

It is unclear why Bennett attacked the officers.

“He ambushed us, he shot at us, that’s about all we’re aware of at this time,” the police chief said. “We don’t know about any conversation that preceded it.”

The city’s mayor, Vi Lyles, condemned the violence on Twitter.

“Domestic violence has struck our community again. A child has lost a mother,” Lyles wrote. “Thank you CMPD for your bravery and strength, enduring a targeted attack. Nearly 3 women a day are killed in the US by a current or former intimate partner. This is unacceptable.”

Police say a group of officers was in the parking lot being briefed on an unrelated case when Bennett showed up. Several local news reporters were also present when the shooting started.

WSOCTV reporter Corey Gensler was on the scene as saw heard Officer Shue screaming in the bushed after shooting. Gensler witnessed Shue being placed in the back of a police cruiser and tended to before being rushed to a hospital.

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