Man charged in killing of two Charlotte officers

Jeffrey Shelton
Jeffrey Shelton
Suspect - Demetrius Montgomery
Suspect - Demetrius Montgomery
Sean Clark
Sean Clark

(Charlotte) April 1, 2007 - A suspect was charged with murder Sunday, less than 24 hours after two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were fatally shot during a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex.

Demetrius Antonio Montgomery is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Earlier the police chief said a suspect was being questioned.

The department says the 25-year-old Montgomery has a lengthy criminal record, and spokesman Bob Fey says the investigation is continuing.

Police say 34-year-old Sean Clark and 35-year-old Jeffrey Shelton both died from gunshot wounds after being shot while responding to a disturbance call at Timber Ridge Apartments in Charlotte at 11:15pm.

The officers were struggling with one of the suspects in the apartment parking lot when they were shot, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Darrel Stephens said. Both were shot by weapons that were not their own, and neither were able to fire a shot in the struggle, Stephens said.

The officers were transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where they both died in the early morning hours Sunday.

Clark had been with the department for just over a year; Shelton was hired in 2001.

Both Clark and Shelton were married. Clark, a West Mecklenburg High School graduate, had a child on the way.

"It's heartbreaking," said Officer Bob Fey, CMPD public information officer. "Just hearing a call like that going out over the air... I happen to be working off duty tonight -- it's not my scheduled day to be working, but just hearing the dispatcher say those words over the air, 'We have two officers shot in the North Tryon Division,' it just makes your heart skip a beat."

Police identified Montogmery after he was charged, but have not said if there are more suspects. At the crime scene Sunday morning, officers were conducting a grid search in a wooded area behind the apartment complex, looking for evidence.

Detectives on the scene said they took 30 witnesses from the scene to the department uptown for questioning, and all cooperated. Based on those interviews, police began searching at the Brittany Apartment Homes across the street from Timber Ridge.

Updated 9:48pm by Jackie Faye Burton