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Justin Michael Strawser
Courtesy of Iredell County Sheriff's Office

Man Suspected In Double-Murder Case Shot And Killed By Police

A man suspected in a double murder case was killed after reportedly firing shots at police. The murder victims were identified as  22-year-old Eduardo Cordova of Mooresville and 24-year-old Caleb Loper of Lincolnton. The suspect was identified as 39-year-old Justin Michael Strawser of Cleveland, N.C.

On Saturday the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received information about shots being fired at a residence on Home Drive in Mooresville. When the deputies arrived, found a critically injured victim on the back porch of the home and two deceased victims inside the residence. All three victims were found restrained and bound. The scene was secured, and the injured man was transported to a medical center for life-threatening injuries.

Deputies and detectives quickly obtained suspect information, leading them to an address on Oswalt Amity Road. When they approached the home, they were met by a man who pointed a gun at them and, barricaded himself inside the home, and began firing at the deputies with an AR-15 rifle.

The home was surrounded, and the Sheriff’s Emergency Response (SERT) Team was called to the scene. Iredell County Sheriff’s Office negotiators made contact with the man and attempted to get him to come out of the house. While speaking with the suspect, identified as Justin Michael Strawser, investigators learned four juveniles were inside the residence who, during the course of the incident, were uncooperative and refused rescue attempts by the deputies.

Many times, during the next several hours, the deputies attempted to get Strawser to come out of the home, and each time, he fired numerous rounds at the deputies from inside the home, striking several sheriff’s office vehicles. The suspect also reportedly made statements to the negotiators about his involvement in the incident on Home Drive.

After negotiations failed, other tactics, including gas, were introduced into the residence. After the gas was used, the juveniles fled the home. The suspect then exited behind the juveniles, firing his rifle at the deputies. The deputies returned fire, killing the suspect. The suspect was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Iredell County EMS, who had been staging, immediately responded to the scene. Strawser was pronounced deceased at the scene. The juveniles and the deputies were uninjured.

The scene was secured, and Sheriff Campbell contacted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to respond and conduct an officer-involved shooting investigation. Three deputies were placed on Administrative Leave, which is standard policy.

This was not a random home invasion; the suspect and victims were known to each other, and narcotics and robbery were possible motives.

[News release courtesy of Iredell County Sheriff’s Office]