Neighbors react after man allegedly kills girlfriend, is later killed by police

Bennett (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
Bennett (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Neighbors say they are still in shock and disbelief that a homicide happened on their block on Carlyle Drive Thursday.

Police say 23-year-old Jonathan Bennett shot and killed his 23-year-old girlfriend Brittany White hours before ambushing officers at CMPD headquarters where he was fatally shot.

Bennett and White had a baby together. Neighbors remember when they last saw them.

"My wife just spoke to them the day before yesterday, and they were very pleasant toward each other," Vincent Tillery said. "Because she said, 'honey will you get the baby out of the car?' And he said, 'OK'... then this comes up the next day. I really don't understand that."

Neighbors say Bennett was a good guy. They say the couple did have a history of domestic violence, but they thought they would work it out.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say within the past year officers responded to White's house for several calls of service ranging from aggravated assault to theft.

"He seemed so quiet," another neighbor, Reeshemah Mack, said. "His persona - he didn't seem like he would be the type to do something like that."

Tillery said he had talked to Bennett a few weeks ago about going to church. The two had a cordial relationship.

"Every time I'd come to my truck he'd be in the yard," Tillery said. "He'd wave - if I pass by him he would wave and he said since he had a baby he had changed his life around."

Neighbors say the two often kept to themselves inside their home. People in the community remember White as being a loving mother.

"She was a nice girl," Tillery said. "Kept to herself. Go to work and come home and took care of her kids. She seemed like she had her head on her shoulders right. She was headed in the right direction."

Neighbors say White's other child was inside the house at the time of the shooting. They saw and heard her as she came out of the house.

"The only thing she kept saying is, 'my momma's dead, my momma's dead, my momma dead,'"  Tillery said. "Three years old... my momma's dead... Do you know how that could devastate her?"

Neighbors say it will take some time before they get over what happened in their community. Tillery wishes Bennett would have reached out.

"I wish he had taken the time to come and talk to me about any issues he had had before the situation developed," Tillery said, "and maybe I could have led him in a positive direction so both of them could have been here today."

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