Local News

Two Die in Davidson Shootout

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DAVIDSON — A teenager and a police officer are dead after a Christmas Day shootout in the tiny Mecklenburg town ofDavidson.

Officers Mark Swaney and Charles McLean responded to a disturbance callabout gunshots heard on Mock Street near the Davidson College campus.

Late Thursday, residents had reported a teenager was carrying a gun intheir neighborhood.

The teen was identified as Damon Kearns. A cousin said he was 17, butother relatives said he was 18 or 19.

Davidson Police Chief Hank McKeiran said, "Analtercation developed between the suspect and another person. The officersintervened to break up the altercation at which time a suspect drew aweapon and fired on both my officers."

Residents confirmed that the officers ordered the teenager to drop thegun, and a struggle followed, winding up in a ditch.

Swaney, 26, killed the 16-year-old suspect but was shot himself anddied an hour later.

McLean was also shot, and was reported in fair conditionFriday morning.

An outside agency has been called in to investigate the shooting.Charlotte-Mecklenburg police will help with the investigation, and arealso offering emotional support to the Davidson County officers.

Swaney is the fifth North Carolina law enforcement officer to be killedin the line of duty since July.On July 11, Detective Paul Hale of the Raleigh Police Department wasgunned down. Just days later Chief Wayne Hathaway of the Sharpsburg PoliceDepartment was killed while responding to a domestic violence call.September 23, Trooper Ed Lowry and Cumberland County Sheriff's DeputyDavid Hathcock were shot to death along Interstate 95.

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