CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — An armed suspect who exchanged gunfire with Concord police officers at the Concord Mills mall last week has died in the hospital, authorities announced on Tuesday.
Several 911 calls connected to the incident have also been released.
The armed suspect, identified as Dominic Jeter, 23, of Charlotte, passed away sometime this weekend from his injuries, according to the Charlotte Medical Examiner.
“Any loss of life is tragic, and I wish his family comfort in this difficult time,” Concord Police Chief Gary Gacek said in a released statement on Tuesday.
Suspect who fired at police had criminal background
Police said one day before the shooting with officers at the Concord Mills mall, Jeter allegedly stole a firearm matching the one at the crime scene from a woman he knew.
Jeter was previously convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest, police said. Possessing any firearm, even if he had not fired it, is a felony offense.
According to court records, Jeter was currently on probation for a firearm possession conviction at the time of the incident.
Authorities said Jeter and two other suspects, identified as Wuanell Hernandez, 21, and Christian Myles Tyson, 21, were involved in a reported theft at the mall and subsequent shooting with officers on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Both Hernandez and Tyson have been charged with obtaining property by false pretenses for stealing credit cards from a person, identified as Xianjie Zhang, at the Concord Mills mall.
Chaos breaks out inside Concord Mills mall
Police told Queen City News Jeter exchanged gunfire with officers inside the mall last Wednesday following the reported theft. The ordeal began Wednesday afternoon when the three suspects came across two Concord police officers at the mall after committing the robbery.
The three suspects fled from the police, running into the mall.
Authorities said Jeter pulled out a handgun at that time. Both Concord police officers gave multiple commands to ‘drop the weapon,’ authorities said.
Instead of complying, Jeter reportedly fired at least one round at one of the officers.
The two Concord officers chased after Jeter into a construction area inside the Concord Mills mall, where they said he fired another shot, with the bullet striking the ground in front of an officer. Both officers returned fire, striking Jeter.
Jeter was transported to the hospital at that time with serious injuries.
Following the officer-involved shooting, Tyson was initially taken to Atrium Health Cabarrus for treatment and Hernandez was located behind a dumpster behind Best Buy at the mall.
A lockdown was put in place at roughly 12:40 p.m. Wednesday. Hernandez was issued a $15,000 secured bond. Once released from the hospital, Tyson was issued a $20,000 secured bond.
911 calls released
Concord Police said according to North Carolina law, most 911 recordings are public records. Some personal information, like names and phone numbers, have been redacted.
The initial 911 call from the reported theft at Concord Mills mall was 7.5 minutes long, police said.
There are also approximately 17 minutes of 911 recordings from numerous bystanders in the mall who heard the shots and called 911.
Initial 911 call from Wednesday, Aug. 31:
911 callback from theft victim:
“I work at LensCrafters, and I just heard several shots ring out, and people went running, everybody’s hiding and running,” said the caller.
“How many you heard? Three shots inside the mall?” asked the dispatcher.
“Four or five shots, it was pow, pow, pow, pow, pow!” said the caller.
“How did they get ahold of your card?” asked the dispatcher to the caller.
“I gave them my card for (inaudible) for helping me buy something, and they did not buy it for me, and they just used my card to buy something else, and they just took it away from me,” said the caller.
Who were the Concord police officers involved?
Authorities said the two officers who were shot at by Jeter have been identified as Concord Officers Jeremy Howarth and Maria Westphal.
Officer Westphal has been with the department for two years, while Officer Howarth has been with the department for two months.
Both officers remain on administrative duty pursuant to department policy, Concord Police said on Tuesday. “State law prohibits any further release of personnel information,” Concord Police explained.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation continues to handle this case.