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Cops: Man sought in woman’s killing “ambushed” officers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man suspected in the shooting death of the mother of his baby was killed and an officer wounded in a shootout outside police department headquarters in North Carolina.

Jonathan Bennett, 23, was shot Thursday night after ambushing officers as they gathered for a briefing in a parking garage next to police headquarters, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said early Friday.

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 Jonathan Bennett

WBTV

Several shots were fired at officers, who returned fire, killing Bennett, Putney said.

“He ambushed us, he shot at us,” Putney said.

The police chief said one officer was shot in the leg and was taken to a hospital for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. The officer’s name has not been released.

Bennett was a suspect in Thursday afternoon’s shooting death of Brittany White, 24, and the abduction of their 2-month-old daughter. A motive in the killing remains unclear. A neighbor told CBS affiliate WBTV said he heard about five gunshots, then saw police cars racing toward the scene.

 An Amber Alert was issued for the child, Journei Bennett, who was found safe. Officials say a second child was found unharmed where White was killed. No other details about the children were immediately available.

Putney did not know why Bennett was near police headquarters.

“It’s obvious he knew that we were looking for him,” Putney said.

A source close to the investigation told WBTV that Bennett changed the license plate on his vehicle before going to the law enforcement center.

Bennett was black; the race of the officers involved in the incident were not yet available, spokeswoman Jessica Wallin said. 

The officers have been placed on administrative leave while the department’s internal affairs bureau reviews the shooting.

Putney said investigators were checking to see if there was any surveillance video of the shooting. But he expected no officer body-camera video.

“When you are being ambushed, I doubt you’re going to think to turn on a camera,” Putney said.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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