‘Our community is hurting,’ says Raleigh police chief
Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown called Friday for the community to work together to prevent gun violence, two days after an officer was shot and wounded.
“Gun violence hurts everyone,” Deck-Brown said in a news conference Friday afternoon. “It hurts the community. ... Let us all partner to make a difference in that regard. This is our city, and these are my officers.”
Officer C.D. Ainsworth was shot several times about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday while responding to a call about a stolen vehicle off of Western Boulevard.
Deck-Brown said Ainsworth, who graduated from the Raleigh police academy in 2017, is a dedicated officer. All police officers “often step into danger,” she said.
“It takes a ton of courage, and that’s who he is,” she said.
Cedric Jamal Kearney, 23, has been charged with attempted murder.
Deck-Brown said police are not releasing information about Ainsworth’s medical condition at the request of the officer’s family. Ainsworth underwent surgery after the shooting, and Deck-Brown said she is hoping for “a full recovery.”
Deck-Brown did not discuss details about what led to the shooting. But events apparently were set in motion when someone reported that a Dodge Dart had returned to the spot where it had been stolen five days earlier.
Ainsworth had responded to a carjacking on Teakwood Place on Jan. 4, according to police records. A man said he was robbed at gunpoint of his wallet, phone and car.
An unidentified caller reached out to police Wednesday evening and said the stolen Dart was parked at the scene of the crime.
“I saw a car matching the description literally go up and park exactly where the robbery happened,” the caller said.
He told a 911 dispatcher that a man in a gray hoodie and a woman in a red track suit matched the description the victim gave last week. He said they were “acting suspicious.”
Police have charged Kearney in the robbery, and also Sherry Marie Richmond. Richmond, 21, of Hillsborough was also at the shooting scene Wednesday and lied to officers about her name, according to an arrest warrant.
Police said Thursday that Antonio Dequan Fletcher, 20, of Cary was also at the shooting. He was charged with possession of a stolen .32-caliber pistol.
A search for the suspects closed down the I-440 Beltline and numerous surrounding streets. Officers used K-9 tracking dogs.
“We got movement in the woods,” one man said over emergency communications traffic.
Kearney was discovered that night hiding in a shed off Wendy Lane, neighbors reported.
Police later charged Kearney with assaulting a law enforcement officer with a firearm. They say he also fired at Officer B.A. Halpin on Wednesday night. Halpin “returned fire but did not strike anyone,” police said.
A fourth person, Amonie Shanteas Fletcher, 20, was charged in connection with a break-in at a Holly Springs home earlier Wednesday.
Police have accused Amonie Fletcher and Kearney of breaking into a house on Steedmont Drive on Wednesday and taking six guns, including a Mac-11 semiautomatic, an SKS “bullpup” rifle with a bayonet and an “uzi” pistol.
Amonie Fletcher lives on Teakwood Place, near the site of the carjacking and the shooting, according to police records.
On Friday afternoon, Deck-Brown said the Raleigh Police Department is a family.
“And as you can imagine with any family that has been struck with a senseless act of violence, we are heartstruck, we are disturbed. ... It’s times like these that test us.”