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Alleged Shooters In Recent Officer-Involved Incident Identified

An update has been issued regarding an officer-involved shooting. The names of the alleged shooters have been released.

A suspect and officer were injured in the late May incident. Shortly after 2 a.m. on May 26 Hickory Police Officers responded to multiple gunshots coming from the vicinity of Gateway Pub at 534 Highway 70 Southwest. After responding to the scene, officers encountered an armed suspect and attempted to take him into custody.  

While officers were attempting to detain the initial suspect, a second armed suspect began firing at officers. One officer was struck by two of the suspects rounds.  An assisting officer reacted and discharged their firearm striking an armed suspect. EMS was immediately contacted as officers began life saving measures for the injured officer and suspect.  

The injured officer was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center where they were treated for their injuries, and is expected to recover.  The injured suspect was flown to Carolinas Medical Center. The first armed suspect encountered by officers has been identified as Khyren Rashaad Lawerence of Jacksonville Florida. Lawerence has been charged with going armed to the terror of the public and carrying a concealed weapon.

The officer shot in the incident was Joseph Hart. Officer Hart was shot by an armed suspect as he was attempting to disarm Khyren Rashaad Lawerence. He has been released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries.

The armed suspect who allegedly shot Officer Hart has been identified as Khalil Rashawn Lawerence of Jacksonville, Florida. Lawerence is currently hospitalized for injuries he sustained after being shot by an assisting HPD Officer following the shooting of Officer Hart. Lawerence is currently listed in stable condition.

Grand Jury Indictments have been issued for Khalil Rashawn Lawerence and will be served upon his release from the hospital. The charges include two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer.

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.

[News release from Hickory Police Department]