The Statesville Police Department arrested a 21-year-old Statesville man Tuesday and charged him with shooting an officer in the back during an apparent ambush on Friday.
Keith Eugene Lackey, 21, is being held on a $3 million secured bond on felony charges, according to a city press release.
He is facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm in city limits.
He was arrested at 11:15 a.m. on Island Ford Road in western Statesville.
“I commend both our officers and the community for working together,” Statesville Police Chief Joe Barone said in a statement. “The community’s cooperation was of great help in obtaining the information we needed to develop a suspect and make today’s arrest.”
Barone said Tyler Horn and another officer were on routine foot patrol at about 11 p.m. near the intersection of Raleigh Avenue and Fifth Street when someone stepped out of the shadows behind them and fired multiple rounds in their direction, hitting Horn in the back.
Horn’s protective vest absorbed the brunt of the gunshot. He was transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital in a police vehicle and was released early Saturday morning.
Barone has not responded to calls from reporters asking for more information. Police did not say how many shots were fired or whether the officers returned fire.
Statesville officers and detectives, state and federal law enforcement officers and other agencies investigated. Immediately after the shooting, Iredell County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Troutman police also responded and provided assistance.
“The shooting unsettled both the community and my officers,” Barone’s statement said. “We conducted a very thorough investigation, canvassed the neighborhood, questioned residents … But we also understand that when a shooting occurs — especially one in which a police officer is hit — the situation can be tense.
“The fact that this is a dangerous job is never from the minds of our officers and their families. But we patrol and serve this community every single day.
“I got the phone call that one of my officers had been shot and my heart sunk. We are like family here and their welfare is important to me. I can’t thank them enough for the job they do for our city.”