Local News

Family: Man who shot Fayetteville officer suffered from mental illness

Posted November 19, 2014

— The man who died in a police shootout Tuesday afternoon after authorities said he shot a Fayetteville police officer suffered from mental illness, his family said Wednesday.

Charles McBennett, 45, was initially spotted by Jessie and Marvin Buie as he exited their Rosehill Road home, said Debra Buie, the couple's daughter.

Officers arrived two minutes after the Buies called 911. After an hour-long standoff, Debra Buie said McBennett came through the front door.

“And he bent down and he pulled out two guns and started shooting, and they fired back,” she said.

Fayetteville Police Officer Michael Canada, 50, was shot in the leg. He was treated and released from Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Fayetteville Police Officer Barret Locklear, 28, who joined the department in January 2013, was also involved in the shootout. He has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation, which is standard in officer-involved shootings.

Officers returned fire before McBennett, who was hit, ran back into the home.

"He was standing probably right here,” Debra Buie said, pointing to a spot just past the front door. “And when they shot him, as you can see, it went up the door. There's skin and hair on the door and he dropped dead right there behind (a kitchen) chair."

Family members said McBennett, who lives across the street from the Buies, suffered from mental illness and was committed three times within the past six months for trying to kill himself.

“We tried to get him help,” said McBennett’s brother-in-law, who did not want to be identified. “He had shot himself at that time. They had him for a week. They released him. They just keep upping his dosage. They hadn't switched his medication. They just kept upping it from 50 to 1200 milligrams.”


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  • Sean Creasy Nov 20, 2014
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    “We tried to get him help,” said McBennett’s brother-in-law, who did not want to be identified. “He had shot himself at that time. They had him for a week. They released him. They just keep upping his dosage. They hadn't switched his medication. They just kept upping it from 50 to 1200 milligrams.”
    Read more at http://www.wral.com/family-man-who-shot-fayetteville-officer-suffered-from-mental-illness/14200793/#piMAAfauGur3gduI.99....... Here is yet another blaring example of the pitiful state of mental health treatment in the US. You have a problem? Take a pill. Still have problems? Take two. Disgusting. We as a society need to shun pill peddling and force these "doctors" into actually treating the problem not just suppressing it with drugs...

  • Alexia Proper Nov 20, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    Actually you're wrong. Read NC GS § 14-404.

  • Lester Oliver Nov 20, 2014
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    Mental illness is a serious and real illness. Since he had 3 suicide attempts in the past 6 months, he should have been under very close supervision. The medical staff should also have asked if he owned firearms. UNFORTUNATELY, even if he said he owned a bazooka, because of right wing gun nuts out there and the gun lobby, there is NO way to confiscate a weapon, even from the MENTALLY ILL! The blood of this man rests on the gun crazies, who see Obama taking their weapon around very haystack.

  • Kaitlyn Legare Nov 20, 2014
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    One place to start would be to make guns just a little bit less accessible to anyone who wants one. IF someone passes a background check and gets a permit to own a gun I think they should be allowed to buy as many guns as they want as long as the permit is still valid. Commit a violent felony and lose your permit and your guns, otherwise you will be left alone.

    You will never be able to stop every criminal or dangerously mentally ill person from getting their hands on a gun but that's no reason not to make it harder for them, and prevent some of them from getting one. I totally support responsible gun owners. Sometime I wonder why some of them don't support laws to keep criminals and irresponsible people from having such easy access to guns. You are shooting your own selves in the foot with that attitude.

  • ncprr1 Nov 20, 2014

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    ...or it will just get you killed because you would be defenseless against the former.

  • A person Nov 20, 2014

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    Hans has of course proven he knows nothing about American laws. It just wants to hear itself

  • gopack10 Nov 20, 2014

    People with mental illness do not have it written on their foreheads and are not allowed to commit crimes freely either. The man was a suspected in a burglary, he fired at an officer and had two guns. Unfortunately, the officer acted appropriately according to his job duties. Maybe this man stole those guns? We do not know, what we do know is that the mental health system is broken and the rates of noncompliance are very high so this is what it is no one person at fault. Also, how do we know these guns were not purchased prior to mental health issues. A background check is done to acquire a permit to purchase a gun so if that was cleared then where is the problem? What kind of mental illness are we talking about? Anxiety, depression or something serious like schizophrenia? Mental illness is a term used to describe a multitude of issues and this presumed mental illness may not have even played a role in this event...we simply do not know.

  • momeeee Nov 20, 2014

    If we still had Dix open this might not have happened. There is no place for the mentally ill to stay and get help. The hospitals keep them for a few days and they are back on the streets and will hurt themselves or others. I have seen this happen over & over. There is a dire need for long-term mental health facilities!

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Nov 20, 2014

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    The number of easily available illegal firearms in society is directly proportional to the number of "legal" firearms in society. Do something about the latter, and you greatly reduce the former.

  • Crystal Stewart Nov 20, 2014
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    Even if they couldn't legally own a gun, you still think they wouldn't? Please.