June 22, 2021 19:01

North Carolina officer killed in shootout just before 26th birthday

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Detectives with the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating after a Mount Holly police officer was killed following a shooting early Friday involving a police officer in Belmont, authorities said.

According to Gaston Emergency Medical Services, the shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. at the Mount Holly Car Wash and Arcade on Beatty Drive, just north of Interstate 85.

GEMS officials said three people were injured and rushed to Caromont Medical Center, WSOTV reported.

Around 8 a.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said on social media that the shooting happened after Mount Holly police officers confronted an armed suspect while responding to a breaking and entering call.

According to CMPD, during the encounter, several shots were fired between the suspect and several Mount Holly police officers, as well as a Gaston County police officer who also responded to the call.

A Mount Holly officer, later identified as 25-year-old Tyler Avery Herndon, was shot and taken to Caromont Medical Center with serious injuries. Just before 10:30 a.m., CMPD said that he had died, according to WSOTV reported.

According to officials, Herndon had been an officer with the Mount Holly Police Department for less than two years.

He would have turned 26 on Sunday.

It is with heavy hearts that we share that our brother Officer Tyler Herndon passed away as a result of injuries…

Posted by Mount Holly Police Department on Friday, December 11, 2020

Flags at the police department were lowered to half-staff Friday morning.

“It’s just a terrible thing to come to such a small town and to lose an officer and to lose a loved one so close to the holidays,” resident Rhonda Dittrich said, who brought her two children to drop off breakfast for the department. “Anytime that happens, it’s terrible.”

“These officers are our lifeline,” resident Joann Lanier said. “If we can’t help them in their time of need, who will? If we can all come together, then it proves there is hope.”

Police said no other officers were injured in the incident.

The suspect was also shot, but only suffered a minor injury, police said. He was also taken to Caromont Medical Center, where he was treated and released before being transported to the Gaston County Jail, where he remains.

Joshua Tyler Funk
Joshua Tyler Funk (Gaston County Jail)

Channel 9 confirmed through the magistrate’s office that the

The suspect was identified as Joshua Tyler Funk, WSOTV reported.

Funk, 24, was booked on a charge of first-degree murder.

It was unclear who the third person hurt was or how they were injured.

Two other Mount Holly police officers and a Gaston County police officer were also involved in the shooting and the three have been placed on administrative leave to ensure their respective department policies and procedures were followed, which is standard procedure.

Mount Holly Police Chief Don Roper was scheduled to address the public around 3 p.m.

The incident could be heard unfolding on Gaston County Communications.

“Shots fired,” a dispatcher can be heard saying.

“Officer down, officer down — got an officer shot,” a police officer responds.

“We’re responding emergency traffic. Where is the officer shot?” the dispatcher asks.

“Directly behind the building. Suspect is down,” the officer responds.

Mount Holly police, Belmont police and Gaston County police all responded to the scene.

Shortly after noon, Chopper 9 Skyzoom was overhead as dozens of law enforcement vehicles assembled outside the Mecklenburg County medical examiner’s office before escorting the fallen officer’s body back to Gaston County.

Law enforcement was asking the public to keep everyone involved in their thoughts and prayers.

Sen. Thom Tillis posted the following statement on Facebook:

“Susan and I send our deepest condolences to the Mount Holly Police Department and the family of Officer Tyler Herndon. This is a heartbreaking reminder of the dangers our men and women in blue face each day they go to work to protect our communities. Violent criminals who target law enforcement must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Officials said Highway 273 would be closed for several hours while the investigation took place.

 

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