Biden to travel to North Carolina to meet with families of officers killed in fatal shooting

Biden to travel to North Carolina to meet with families of officers killed in fatal shooting

President Joe Biden is expected to travel to North Carolina on Thursday to meet with family members of four police officers killed earlier this week in the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since 2016.

The president is scheduled to travel statewide to Wilmington that day and plans to add a stop in Charlotte to meet with local officials and the families of police officers shot Monday while serving an arrest warrant, according to a person close to the file.

The four officers were killed when a task force of officers from different agencies arrived in the residential area of ​​the city of 900,000 to try to capture Terry Clark Hughes Jr., 39, on warrants for possession of a firearm by an ex. -criminal and on the run to escape Lincoln County, North Carolina. Hughes was also killed.

Four other officers were injured in the shooting and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a .40-caliber handgun and ammunition were found at the scene. Those killed were identified as Sam Poloche and William Elliott of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections; Joshua Eyer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer; and Deputy U.S. Marshal Thomas Weeks.

After the attack, Biden expressed his condolences and support for the community, calling the slain officers “heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, rushing into danger to protect us.”

“We must do more to protect our law enforcement officers. That means funding them – so they have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep us safe. And that means taking additional steps to combat the scourge of gun violence. Now,” Biden said in a statement, calling on congressional leaders to pass a ban on assault weapons, among other gun control measures.

Outside the North Tryon division of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department on Wednesday, Eyer’s patrol car was draped in an American flag and covered in bouquets of flowers from community members who stopped to pay their respects.

The department called the vehicle a “solemn tribute” and a “visible reminder of Officer Eyer’s sacrifice and service,” in a message posted to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Eyer’s memorial service is planned for Friday at a Baptist church in Charlotte.

Also Wednesday, a local police chief said an officer on his force who was shot Monday had undergone surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. David W. Onley, the police chief of Statesville in the Charlotte metro area, expressed his condolences and “unwavering solidarity with our brothers in law enforcement during this difficult time” on Wednesday, according to a statement released by his office.

One of the four officers injured in the attack was Cpl. Casey Hoover of the Statesville Police Department, who served on the task force. He was shot in the upper torso – an area not protected by his bulletproof vest.

Hoover was taken by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to a Charlotte hospital, where he underwent surgery. Onley said the officer, who worked for Statesville police for eight years, is now stable and expected to make a full recovery and “exemplifies the courage and resilience of our law enforcement community.”

Law enforcement was still investigating Wednesday, trying to determine a precise timeline of events and whether Hughes acted alone or with a second shooter.

Hughes’ criminal record in North Carolina dates back more than a decade. That includes prison time and convictions for breaking and entering, reckless driving, evading arrest and illegal possession of a firearm as a former felon, according to state records.

It was the deadliest day for US law enforcement since five police officers were killed by a sniper during a protest in Dallas in 2016.

___ Miller reported from Washington.