‘This is insane’: NC chief reacts after multiple LEOs shot in a week

"This is insane," she said. "What law enforcement is having to put up with and deal with now more than ever"

Bruce Henderson
The Charlotte Observer

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. — A 13-year veteran officer of the Kings Mountain Police Department was shot Saturday night in an exchange of gunfire that left a suspect also wounded.

Cpl. Frank Lee Whittington Jr., the officer involved, was rushed to surgery but was recovering, police Chief Lisa Proctor told reporters shortly after midnight. Kings Mountain is about 30 miles west of Charlotte.

"We are very thankful that he is still alive and we are not planning funeral number three for the last week and a half, for another law enforcement officer," Proctor said.

Mount Holly police Officer Tyler Herndon was shot and killed while responding to a call on Dec. 11. Concord police Officer Jason Shuping was fatally shot on Wednesday night when he and a partner confronted a carjacking suspect.

Proctor offered few details of the Kings Mountain shootings, which under standard protocol has been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation. She did not identify the suspect in the case, who she said was taken to a Gastonia hospital for surgery.

The incident began with a call to police at 8:01 p.m. Saturday from a home on Downing Drive, near Kings Mountain Country Club. The caller said an unknown person was on the home's back porch.

The suspect then ran toward the country club, Proctor said. Whittington, who had been called to the scene, then encountered the suspect at some point.

Proctor said she talked briefly with Whittington before he went in to surgery. "He's very thankful for the support and the fact that he is still alive," she said.

Family members and surgeons, she added, "are telling me we are very blessed that he is with us."

Proctor asked the community to pray for the officers in Mount Holly and Concord who did not survive their encounters.

"It's insane. This is insane," she said. "What law enforcement is having to put up with and deal with now more than ever. It's kind of hard to talk about because no one, and I mean no one, knows what it costs to put on one of these badges every morning and know that as soon as you walk out the door you become a target."

Watch the chief's emotional comments in full below:

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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