'This Is Insane': Community Reeling After Fourth Officer Shot In Two Weeks

By Sarah Tate

December 21, 2020

A North Carolina officer is recovering after being shot Sunday night while responding to a call, Kings Mountain Police confirmed. The suspect was also wounded and treated for injuries. This is the fourth officer shot near Charlotte in the last two weeks, two of whom were fatally wounded.

Around 8 p.m. on Sunday, Officer Frank Lee Whittington Jr., a 13-year veteran with the Kings Mountain Police Department, was responding to a report of a suspicious individual on a resident's back porch. The suspect fled toward the Kings Mountain Country Club, where the shootout took place, and both Whittington and the suspect were wounded.

Whittington was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery, the department confirmed. Though the extent of his injuries is unknown, they said the officer is expected to be OK. As is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting, the State Bureau of Investigation is taking over the case.

"We are thankful that he is still alive and that we're not planning funeral number three in the last week and a half for another law enforcement officer," said Police Chief Lisa Proctor.

Proctor said Whittington is recovering and grateful for his community.

"He is thankful for the support, and that he is still alive," said Proctor. "The outpouring from the community has been overwhelming.

The suspect, whose identity has not been released, was also taken to a local hospital for surgery. Proctor expressed her concern for what she sees as the growing danger police are facing, especially as multiple officers have been shot in the Charlotte area in the last two weeks.

"It's insane. This is insane, what law enforcement is having to put up with and deal with now, more than ever, it's kind of hard to talk about," said Chief Proctor. "Because no one, and I mean no one, knows what it costs to put one of these badges on every morning knowing that as soon as you go out that front door you're an instant target."

This is the third officer-involved shooting in two weeks, and two officers have been shot in the line of duty. Mount Holly officer Tyler Herndon

Mount Holly officer Tyler Herndon was killed on December 11 while responding to an overnight break-in, and Concord officer Jason Shuping was killed near Concord Mills Mall on December 16. Both men were 25 years old and had been with their respective departments for less than two years.

Photo: Getty Images

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