Saturday, February 26, 2011

CMPD SWAT Officer Dies in Tragic Accident

On February 25, 2011 at approximately 5:35 p.m., Mint Hill Fire and Rescue responded to a call for service on Tinkerton Court, located in Mint Hill. This is the residence of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Fred Thornton.

Upon arrival, Mint Hill Fire and Rescue located Officer Thornton suffering from life threatening injuries. He was transported to Carolinas Medical Center-Main, where he underwent surgery in an effort to save his life. Despite the heroic efforts by medical staff, Officer Thornton died this evening as result of his injuries.

This afternoon at approximately 3:45 p.m. Officer Thornton assisted with a SWAT warrant in the Metro Division. The warrant service was conducted without incident and SWAT officers cleared the scene at approximately 4:45 p.m. Then Officer Thornton drove his assigned SWAT vehicle to his residence in Mint Hill.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it is believed that Officer Thornton’s injuries were the result of a discharge from a distraction device that occurred during the attempt to render his equipment safe. A distraction device is standard issued equipment to SWAT officers deployed during tactical operations.

Officer Thornton is 28 ½ year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He is assigned to the North Tryon Division and a 23-year member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.

Members of CMPD have been with Officer Thornton’s family at CMC throughout the evening, and are heartbroken over the loss of a veteran member of their family. An investigation is being conducted by the Mint Hill Police Department with the assistance of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
The visitation for Officer Thornton will be held Monday, February 28, 2011, from 1800-2100 at First Baptist Church Charlotte, 301 South Davidson Street, Charlotte, N.C. 28231.

The funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at 1100 hours, also at First Baptist Church Charlotte, 301 South Davidson Street, Charlotte, N.C. 28231.

Burial will follow the funeral service at Sharon Memorial Park, 5716 Monroe Road, Charlotte, N.C. 28212.