YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - The man accused of killing an officer and wounding several deputies in a January shooting pleaded guilty in court Tuesday morning.
Christian Thomas McCall, 47, reportedly shot multiple York County deputies and a York County police officer in a Jan. 16 standoff. Sheriff's Detective Mike Doty was killed during the stand-off and Sgt. Buddy Brown, Sgt. Randy Clinton and Sgt. Kyle Cummings were injured.
McCall pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence, which the judge accepted.
In a 911 tape played in court, McCall's wife can be heard screaming and telling dispatchers that he beat her. The call was recorded the night of the shooting.
The prosecution agreed not to seek the death penalty against McCall.
McCall was shot by officers, ending the hours-long stand-off that started as a domestic violence call at a home in the 3000 block of Farrier Lane. He was wanted for allegedly assaulting a woman at the home, deputies said. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment.
McCall appeared in York County Court around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, where he entered the plea deal.
In court, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said his officers "showed mercy" on McCall the night of the shooting. Detective Doty's father, Bob Doty, spoke in court and said his family has been "paralyzed with grief." The fallen detective's father said he prays daily for McCall's family and said he hopes the suspect "learns to be truthful with himself." Bob Doty said his family forgives McCall.
McCall was released from the hospital in March and has since been in Charlotte-Mecklenburg police custody.
"The family is shocked, saddened and devastated by the events of January 16, 2018," the family issued in a statement. "The Christian McCall we know is a loving Christian, husband of over 20 years, father of two great kids, son, and brother," the statement said.
Under South Carolina state law, if a police officer is murdered in the line of duty the charge could carry the death penalty as a sentence.
McCall was booked in the Mecklenburg County Jail before being extradited. He was held on a fugitive of justice warrant out of North Carolina.
McCall had warrants in South Carolina for murder, three counts of attempted murder, domestic violence and possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
According to the suspected gunman's lawyer, McCall's family said he was a "loving Christian, husband of over 20 years, father of two great kid, son and brother."
Family members said the shooting was "something uncharacteristic of Chris' past and seemingly promising future."
Little is known about the suspected gunman. According to a FOIA request with the National Archives, McCall was in the Army from 1991 to 1994 as a petroleum supply specialist. The documentation revealed a number of awards, including "Sharpshooter Badge with Auto Rifle Bar." He was stationed at a number of bases across the U.S. including Fort Bragg but was never deployed.
York Police Chaplain and Pastor of Liberty Baptist Church Matt Burrell says he knew of McCall because their children went to school together.
"He seemed like a good father, a Christian man," Burrell said. "The interaction that we had with him a person that you never would have been like 'Hey one day you need to be worried about this person'."