Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lunch Break (6/21/16): Arrests made in two local fire-related killings; SWAT officer shoots suspect in SE Charlotte

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 12:21 PM

An armed suspect was shot earlier this morning during a standoff with SWAT officers outside of a Pineburr Road apartment building in southeast Charlotte. Investigators arrived at the apartment at 7:51 a.m. and attempted to serve an arrest warrant to a suspect wanted for a string of armed robberies. When the suspect drew his firearm, a member of the SWAT team fired and the suspect retreated into the apartment. A standoff followed, but additional SWAT officers were eventually able to gain entry to the apartment, remove the injured suspect, and transport him to the hospital for treatment. Per standard procedure, CMPD is conducting an internal investigation. (Madeline Lemieux) 

Southbound lanes on Interstate 85 between Sam Wilson Road and Interstate 485 have re-opened after being closed for nearly an hour and leaving traffic at a standstill following a wreck at 8 a.m. this morning. It’s not clear how many vehicles were involved, but at least two people were transported to the hospital — one with serious injuries. (WBTV Staff) 

Two suspects were arrested Monday in Myrtle Beach in connection to the murder of Amanda Kay Smith, 33, whose burned remains were discovered Friday morning on the side of Leonard Road in Rowan County. Shortly before discovering Smith’s body, fire officials had responded to a burning building on Honeysuckle Lane. Investigators have now confirmed that this was Smith’s home and that the fire was an act of arson. Detectives learned that Smith was last seen in Salisbury with Timothy Clarence Smith Jr. and Stephanie Dawn Hall, and additional information emerged that led police to issue arrest warrants for robbery, arson and murder. The suspects were subsequently located and taken into custody by Horry County police. (WCNC Staff) 

Just a few hours after the Myrtle Beach arrests, Mathew Thomas Benner, 28, was arrested in Nevada and charged with arson and the murder of Amanda Strous, a 27-year old college counselor who was killed when her Steele Creek apartment building was set on fire Saturday evening. Benner lived in the same apartment complex as Strous, reportedly confessed to killing her. Investigators have not revealed any details of their relationship. (Charlotte Observer staff)

A single-car crash Monday night in Caldwell County left a father dead and his 5-year old son in critical condition. The driver, identified as Zachary Quinn Vest, was reportedly speeding down Hartland Road with his son in the backseat when he apparently failed to turn at a bend in the road, flying straight through the curve and striking a tree. Vest, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene, and his son was airlifted to the hospital.

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