Biden plans North Carolina trip to meet families of officers killed in deadly shooting

President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit North Carolina on Thursday to meet with the families of four policemen killed earlier this week in the bloodiest attack on U.S. law enforcement since 2016.

According to a person familiar with the situation, the president is slated to visit Wilmington across the state that day and will also make a stop in Charlotte to speak with local officials and the families of officers wounded Monday while serving a warrant.

Four officers were killed when a task force of officers from various agencies arrived in the residential neighborhood of the 900,000-person city to try to apprehend 39-year-old Terry Clark Hughes Jr. on warrants for possession of a firearm by an ex-felon and fleeing to elude in Lincoln County, North Carolina. Hughes was also killed.

Four other officers were injured during the battle, and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a 40-caliber handgun, and ammo were discovered on the site. Those killed included Sam Poloche and William Elliott of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Joshua Eyer, and Deputy U.S. Marshal Thomas Weeks.

Biden plans North Carolina trip to meet families of officers killed in deadly shooting

Following the incident, Biden voiced his sympathies and solidarity for the community, describing the deceased cops as “heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, rushing into harm’s way to protect us.”

“We need to do more to protect our law enforcement officers. That means providing them with the resources they need to accomplish their jobs and keep us secure. And it entails taking more steps to combat the plague of gun violence. “Now,” Biden said in a statement, urging congressional leaders to pass a ban on assault weapons and other gun control measures.

Also on Wednesday, a local police chief stated that an officer from his unit who was shot Monday underwent surgery and is expected to recover fully. David W. Onley, the police chief of Statesville in the Charlotte metropolitan region, offered condolences Wednesday and “unwavering solidarity with our law enforcement brethren during this difficult time,” according to a statement posted by his office.

Cpl. Casey Hoover of the Statesville Police Department, a member of the task force, was one of four policemen injured in the attack. He was shot in the upper torso, an area not protected by his bulletproof vest.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department transported Hoover to a Charlotte hospital, where he underwent surgery. According to Onley, the officer, who has been with the Statesville Police Department for eight years, is currently stable and anticipated to recover completely, and “exemplifies the bravery and resilience of our law enforcement community.”

Law enforcement investigators were still investigating Wednesday, trying to identify a specific timeline of events and whether Hughes acted alone or with another gunman.

Hughes’ criminal record in North Carolina dates back over a decade. According to state records, it includes prison time as well as convictions for breaking and entering, reckless driving, evading police, and illegally having a firearm as a previous felon.

The attack was the worst day for US police enforcement in a single incident since a sniper killed five cops at a protest in Dallas in 2016.

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