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Judge denies requests to release bodycam footage of shooting that left four officers dead

House with the front damaged
Nick de la Canal
/
WFAE
The house on Galway Drive where four officers were shot and killed, and four more wounded, on Monday, April 29. The house was severely damaged when officers in SWAT vehicles battered their way in.

A Mecklenburg County judge has denied a request from news outlets to release police body camera footage of the April 29 shootout that left four law-enforcement officers in Charlotte fatally wounded.

The suspect they were trying to arrest was also shot and killed. Four other officers were shot but survived, and several others suffered non-gunshot injuries. In a statement Thursday, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings is commending the judge’s decision, saying there was no compelling public interest to release the footage. News outlets had argued that releasing the footage would promote transparency and accountability.

The shootout started when officers with an interdepartmental task force that seeks violent fugitives tried to arrest a man on Galway Drive in east Charlotte. Terry Clark Hughes Jr., 39, was wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon and felony flee to elude out of Lincoln County.

Officers from the U.S. Marshals Service and several other agencies surrounded the modest brick house in east Charlotte. They announced who they were and that they were there to serve a warrant on Hughes. Hughes then told two women in the house with him to “get out or get down,” officials said.

Then he opened fire from a second-story window with an AR-15 rifle.

North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections officers Sam Poloche and Alden Elliot, U.S. Marshal Deputy Thomas Weeks, and CMPD officer Joshua Eyer were shot and killed.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials said they have confirmed that there was only one shooter in the April 29 gunfight that left four officers dead and five more wounded.

Nick de la Canal is an on air host and reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal