CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An FBI task force member was shot and rushed to the hospital after an early morning raid led to a shootout in a North Carolina neighborhood.
And now federal officials have confirmed that the gunshot wound may have been fired by a fellow officer — not the armed suspect.
According to the criminal complaint, officers from the FBI Safe Streets Task Force were serving a search warrant on a suspected narcotics dealer around 6 a.m. Friday on Oakburn Drive near Old Statesville Avenue.
CBS 3 said that as the officers approached the home, they saw their suspect, 47-year-old Larry McConneyhead, pushing a garbage barrel to the edge of his driveway. When McConneyhead looked up and saw the approaching force, he turned and sprinted back into his house.
He wasn’t about to go down easily.
As the agents went to the door of the home and made entry, they were greeted by their suspect, now reportedly armed with a handgun.
The sight of the firearm caused one of the officers to call out, which officials say may have prompted the misfire.
“[McConneyhead] was pointing a handgun at the law enforcement team members, so one of them shouted, ‘gun!’ resulting in one of the law enforcement officials being shot several times,” the complaint says.
During the hail of gunfire, one of the task force members was struck multiple times. That officer reportedly serves with the Gastonia Police Department and has been working with the federal task force.
The officer was promptly rushed to a hospital to be treated for his wounds. Reports noted that he is expected to make a full recovery, though the extent of his injuries was not widely reported.
“It just proves you never know who you’re staying next to,” neighbor Randy Brown told Fox 46.
McConneyhead was taken down during the raid, and despite the incident, the search warrant proved to be a success. The suspect was arrested after the task force members discovered what was inside his home.
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McConneyhead now faces charges of possessing more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of one or more firearms in furthermore of drug trafficking and possession of one or more firearms by a convicted felon. He’s currently being held without bond at the Mecklenburg County Jail.
The feds were after McConneyhead for his alleged dealings with distributing large quantities of meth and cocaine in the Charlotte area. He’s also a known member of a local motorcycle gang and has prior convictions, including at least one for federal drug charges.
NEW info on search warrant that ended w/ FBI Task Force officer shot Fri. Court docs say Larry McConneyhead is a ranking member of the #Clt Biker Gang & accused of dealing cocaine. I'm asking if the officer was shot by McConneyhead or friendly fire. Watch my reports on @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/g2jhPz4njh
— Allison Latos (@AllisonWSOC9) November 4, 2019
If convicted on all counts, McConneyhead may spend the rest of his life behind bars.
But one question was left unanswered. Who shot the Gastonia officer?
We don’t have a solid answer yet, but speculation has come from investigators and other law enforcement agencies.
A spokesperson with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed that a CMPD officer had been placed on administrative leave after they were involved with the incident on Friday, which is standard from an officer who discharges their weapon in the line of duty. The CMPD internal affairs division is conducting an investigation into the situation.
The officer who was injured was said to have non life-threatening injuries.