Charlotte police officer shot serving warrant in Fort Mill

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.com, jmcfadden@heraldonline.comJanuary 7, 2014 

— A Charlotte police officer trying to serve an armed robbery warrant was shot early Tuesday morning when the wanted man opened fire inside a Fort Mill home.

Officer Shane Page, a 13-year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, was shot in the left shoulder and pelvis during an exchange of gunfire at 314 Brookside Drive in Fort Mill’s Foxwood neighborhood, police said.

Page, 42, underwent surgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, police spokesman Keith Trietley said. Page was in serious but stable condition Tuesday, and is expected to make a full recovery.

The armed robbery suspect, James William Lewis, 31, was shot in the leg, police said. He was treated at CMC, but his condition was not known Tuesday evening.

Lewis was wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon after police say he held up a Mecklenburg County Jack-in-the-Box restaurant at gunpoint last month.

Between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Tuesday, Page and other members of CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, York County sheriff’s deputies and agents with the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force gathered in the Foxwood neighborhood.

While officers were searching for Lewis inside the house, police said, Page opened a door and Lewis shot him. Lewis was shot in an ensuing exchange of gunfire.

No York County deputies fired any shots or were injured in the shootout, sheriff’s office spokesman Trent Faris said.

It’s unclear how officers learned Lewis was at the Fort Mill home. Neighbors told The Herald he did not live there.

Erin Tweed, who lives two houses down from where the shootout took place, said police cars surrounded the home and officers made commands over a loudspeaker.

They said, “Come to the door with your hands showing,” Tweed said.

About 10 minutes later, she said, 10 officers went into the house, possibly with guns drawn. Minutes passed before officers came out the house and forced a person to the ground, she said.

Tweed heard someone shout: “He has a gun on him.”

Another neighbor, Stephanie Renner, realized something was happening when her children, who had just left to catch their school bus, ran back home and told their mother there were police at the house up the street.

Renner called the family who lives at the house where the shootout took place “nice people” who are “relatively quiet.” She said the family had fallen on hard times recently.

Lewis didn’t live at the home, Renner said, but “different types of characters” were often seen coming in and out of the house.

Police have been called to the home at least 14 times over the past eight years to respond to incidents ranging from reported burglaries, thefts and assaults, according to York County sheriff’s documents obtained by The Herald. Efforts to reach members of the family who live at the house were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Tweed said she also has seen several people drive into the driveway of the home, typically at night, and not leave for hours. She did not recall having seen Lewis in the neighborhood.

The shooting took place within 1.5 miles of Fort Mill Middle School and Fort Mill Elementary School.

Schools spokeswoman Kelly McKinney said a bus that normally picks up middle school students in Foxwood was unable to do so because police weren’t allowing traffic in the neighborhood. Most elementary students in the area were picked up by their usual buses.

The nearby schools did not go into lockdown because the middle school’s resource officer was advised that the situation was over by the time students arrived, McKinney said.

Both the FBI and the State Law Enforcement Division were investigating the shootings Tuesday.

Page was given a Medal of Valor by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2006 when he assisted a fellow officer who was shot by a suspect while serving a warrant.

Lewis has no criminal history in South Carolina, but records show that several charges filed against him in North Carolina were dismissed over the last decade. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to felony possession of cocaine and was sentenced to two years’ probation.

His probation was revoked in 2001 when he was convicted of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of schedule II drugs, North Carolina criminal records show. He was released five months later.

The last reported incident of an officer being shot in York County was in 2010 when Tymon Wells, a convicted felon, shot Officer Will Reap of the county’s Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit in the legs while Reap was trying to serve a drug warrant on him at an Arlington Avenue home in Rock Hill.

Reap fired back in self-defense, and one of those bullets went through a wall and struck Rock Hill Police Officer Trista Baird, who had run around the house to prevent anyone else from escaping, in the wrist.

Wells is serving 23 years in a federal prison after his 2011 conviction on several drug charges.

The Lake Wylie Pilot is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service