1 of 4 officers killed in Charlotte had ties to Stanly

The Stanly County community mourned the loss of a Pfeiffer University graduate this week who gave his life in service of others.

Joshua Eyer, a six-year veteran with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, graduated from Pfeiffer in 2017, was one of four law enforcement officers killed Monday in Charlotte.

Eyer was killed along with North Carolina Department of Adult Correction task force officers Sam Poloche and Alden Elliot and Thomas Weeks of the U.S. Marshal’s Service. Three other CMPD officers and one other Marshal’s member were shot. It was the deadliest attack against U.S. law enforcement officers since 2016, the AP reported Tuesday.

This combo of undated images provided by law enforcement, shows, from left, Sam Poloche and William Elliott of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Joshua Eyer; and Deputy U.S. Marshal Thomas Weeks. The four officers were killed and four others were wounded, Monday, April 29, 2024, in suburban Charlotte, as they approached a home to serve a warrant for a felon wanted for possessing a firearm. (North Carolina Department of Corrections (2), Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, US Marshals Service via AP)

Around 1:30 p.m. Monday, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, comprised of officers from many agencies, was trying to serve a warrant in an East Charlotte neighborhood.

Around 1:30 p.m., the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, comprised of officers from many agencies, was trying to serve a warrant in an East Charlotte neighborhood.

“As officers approached, the male subject discharged his firearm striking multiple officers. These officers requested immediate response from other officers. As officers responded, the gunfire continued, striking additional officers,” a CMPD press release stated.

Some of the officers who rushed to the neighborhood to rescue the first wave of downed officers were wounded, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings told the Associated Press.

After a three-hour standoff, “the male suspect exited the residence on Galway Drive with a firearm. Law enforcement officers perceived an imminent deadly threat and fired their service weapons striking the suspect in the front yard of the residence,” the press release stated. “The CMPD’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) began negotiations with other occupants in the house. Two females exited the residence and were transported to the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) in Uptown (601 E. Trade St.) to be interviewed by detectives.”

After securing the scene, the suspect was pronounced deceased. He was identified as Terry Clark Hughes, Jr., 39, wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon and felony flee to elude from Lincoln County.

Hughes’ criminal record in North Carolina goes back more than a decade, including prison time and convictions for breaking and entering, reckless driving, eluding arrest and illegally possessing a gun as a former felon, according to state records, the AP reported.

An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a 40-caliber handgun and ammunition were found at the scene, the AP reported.

Chief Jennings posted on X, formerly Twitter, Monday night: “@CMPD is heartbroken over the loss of one of our own. Officer Joshua Eyer was one of the CMPD officers shot in the line of duty this afternoon. He fought for several hours and passed away from his injuries with his wife and family by his side tonight. Officer Eyer was [a] 6-year veteran with the CMPD, and I am truly grateful for his bravery, service and ultimate sacrifice. He will never be forgotten, and we are forever indebted.”

Jennings said Tuesday Eyer was killed while responding to help others facing gunfire at the scene.

“We saw … officers going into the line of fire to save their brothers in blue, who have gone down in the act of trying to keep our community safe,” Jennings told reporters Tuesday. “To me, that’s truly heroic.”

Eyer had received an employee of the month honor during April.

“I met Josh when he enrolled at Pfeiffer,” said Russ Sharples, who had served as vice president of student development at Pfeiffer. “An Army veteran, he was an exceptional student, and I knew he would be an exceptional police officer. I was privileged to have known Josh.”

A Pfeiffer spokesperson said Eyer graduated in 2017 with a degree in criminal justice. Eyer met his future wife, Ashley, a 2016 graduate, while at the university.

Pfeiffer posted on Facebook Tuesday morning: “Pfeiffer University has always prided itself on being a close-knit community where we come together, care for each other, and create the feeling of ‘home.’ Yesterday, our community was directly impacted by an officer-involved shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our support for each other and our graduates never wavers, and we continue that support today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the law enforcement officers and all the families involved. This hits hardest when our own Pfeiffer Pfamily is involved. Please keep the family of Officer Joshua Eyer ’17, especially his wife, Ashley ’16, assistant director of academic support, and son Andrew, in your thoughts and prayers as they are going through an incredibly difficult time.”