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Charlotte police chief breaks down remembering 4 slain officers, says suspect had ‘extensive’ criminal history

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Johnny Jennings broke down during a Tuesday press conference remembering the four officers who died during a Monday shootout while serving a warrant for a felon in possession of a firearm. 

The four fallen officers have been identified as Deputy U.S. Marshal Thomas M. Weeks Jr; North Carolina Department of Adult Correction (NCDAC) Officers Sam Poloche and William “Alden” Elliot, who were members of a USMS Fugitive Task Force; and CMPD Officer Joshua Eyer. Four other officers were shot in the line of duty Monday afternoon.

Suspect Terry Clark Hughes Jr., 39, died at the scene Monday after firing at officers from the second floor of his Galway Drive home, on the front and back side, Jennings said Monday.

“[I]t’s just been very tough,” Jennings told reporters through tears Tuesday when asked about how Monday’s shootout was different from others his Department has responded to. “And knowing that you have families that are hurting right now — we’ll get through it, though, very rapidly.”

CHARLOTTE RESIDENTS SHOCKED AFTER 4 LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS DIE, 4 OTHERS INJURED IN SHOOTOUT

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings wipes away tears as he speaks at a press conference in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, April 30, 2024, regarding the shooting that killed four officers during an attempt to serve a warrant on April 29.  (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Law enforcement, including 12 CMPD officers returned fire at the house on Galway Drive Monday. It is unclear if the gunshots came from more than one suspect, and police are still working to determine if there was a second shooter and whether any additional charges will be filed.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings speaks at a press conference in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, April 30, 2024, regarding a shooting that killed four officers during an attempt to serve a warrant on April 29.  (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Authorities recovered an AR-15 rifle, a 40-caliber handgun, magazines and ammunition from the residence.

CHARLOTTE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO DIED IN SHOOTOUT IDENTIFIED: ‘FOREVER INDEBTED’

A photo of Thomas M. Weeks.

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Thomas M. Weeks. Weeks was a deputy U.S. Marshal assigned to the Western District of North Carolina and was one of four officers killed April 29, 2024 in Charlotte, N.C.  (U.S. Marshals Service via AP)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Joshua Eyer

A shootout on Monday, April 29, 2024, killed Joshua Eyer, and three law enforcement officers and wounded four others in North Carolina began as officers approached a home to serve a warrant for a felon wanted for possessing a firearm, police said.  (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department via AP)

Samuel "Sam" Poloche

Samuel “Sam” Poloche, 42, was one of four officers shot and killed while serving a warrant in Charlotte on Monday (NCDOC)

William "Alden" Elliott

William “Alden” Elliott, 46, was one of four officers shot and killed while serving a warrant in Charlotte on Monday. (NCDOC)

Hughes had an “extensive” criminal history, Jennings said. North Carolina public records show the suspect had previously been charged with eluding arrest, looting, marijuana possession and manufacturing, driving with an expired registration, driving while impaired and more out of several different counties. 

“I know this individual did serve a significant amount of time in jail and had been released,” Jenning said during the Tuesday press conference. “But I can give you hundreds of examples of people that I feel like should not be out preying upon our citizens, and I’ve been pretty vocal about that, particularly with juveniles. What I’ll say is that our system is not completely is not completely where it needs to be, but … I really think we’re overwhelmed. We’re overwhelmed in the court system. Our district attorney is overwhelmed with the docket that we see within Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and I don’t have an answer for that.”

CHARLOTTE SHOOTING: 4 US MARSHALS TASK FORCE MEMBERS KILLED, 5 OTHER OFFICERS INJURED SERVING WARRANT

Charlotte officer crouch behind a police vehicle on Galway Drive

Charlotte residents are shocked after the deaths of three officers following a Monday afternoon shootout. (Charlotte resident)

Jennings added that his department is “focused” on holding people accountable for the crimes they commit in Charlotte.

The scene is still being processed as investigators collect projectiles and casings from what was believed to be more than 100 rounds fired.

MEMPHIS COP-KILLING SUSPECT IDENTIFIED AS OFFICIALS CALL FOR TOUGHER SENTENCES

5000 block of Galway Drive in east Charlotte, North Carolin

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department responds to a shootout on the 5000 block of Galway Drive in east Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday, April, 29, 2024. CMPD says people should stay clear of the 5000 block of Galway Drive, where there is an active investigation. (Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez/The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Two female persons of interest — including one 17-year-old juvenile — who were in the house at the time of the shooting were taken into custody Monday afternoon and are fully cooperating with police. 

It is unclear exactly what their relationship to the shooter is, but Jennings said they were in the house voluntarily.

Ronald Davis, Director of the United States Marshals Service, speaks during a press conference in Charlotte

Ronald Davis, Director of the United States Marshals Service, speaks during a press conference in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, April 30, 2024, regarding a shooting that killed four officers during an attempt to serve a warrant on April 29.  (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

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“As more and more comes out about this incident, not only when you see how brave they were,” USMS Ron Davis said Tuesday. “You will see examples of their courage and bravery. Let there be no mistake. They represent the best of us. They are truly America’s finest, and it’s just an honor to serve with them.”

The case remains an open and active investigation.

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