CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Sources tell WBTV News the shooting of an FBI Task Force officer with the Gastonia Police Department is being investigated as possible friendly fire.
The incident is currently being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. The agency is working to determine whose bullets struck the task force officer.
FBI officials confirmed that law enforcement from multiple agencies making up the FBI Safe Streets Task Force were executing a search warrant around 6 a.m. Friday on Oakburn Drive near Old Statesville Avenue.
As agents and officers approached the home, shots were fired.
According to the criminal complaint, officers approached the suspect of the investigation, 47-year-old Larry McConneyhead, as he rolled a trashcan to the end of the driveway. As they announced their presence, McConneyhead ran inside.
When agents went in the door, the complaint states, they were met by McConneyhead armed with a handgun.
“[McConneyhead] was pointing a handgun at the law enforcement team members, so one of them shouted, ‘gun!’ resulting in one of the law enforcement officials being shot several times,” the complaint reads.
A neighbor reported hearing rapid gunfire at around 6:20 a.m. involving an estimated 10-15 shots.
An FBI Task Force member with the Gastonia Police Department was shot during the incident. He was rushed to the hospital and is expected to be OK. The officer’s name has not yet been released.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed that a CMPD officer was also involved in the incident Friday morning.
CMPD says Officer Heather Loveridge has been placed on administrative leave which is standard procedure anytime an officer discharges their weapon. This confirms that Officer Loveridge fired at least one shot during the incident.
CMPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were followed during the incident.
The FBI said that McConneyhead is currently being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, PWID Cocaine, possession of one or more firearms in furthermore of drug trafficking and possession of one or more firearms by a convicted felon.
Each charge holds different penalties, from 10 years to life in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, McConneyhead - a member of a Charlotte-based motorcycle gang and convicted felon - was being investigated for distributing large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in Charlotte and Gastonia.
FBI officials have not yet provided information on where the gunfire that hit the Gastonia police officer came from. This investigation is ongoing and no definitive conclusion has been reached.
Police were called to this same home in 2017 after a man was shot in the hand during a robbery.