CHARLOTTE -- On Friday, it was hard not to notice the bullet holes that pierced the glass of CMPD headquarters. It’s a stark reminder of what happened there the night before.
"He shot at us,” said Chief Kerr Putney. “It’s obvious that he knew we were looking for him."
Police say murder suspect Jonathan Bennett opened fire on several officers before the shot and killed him. While the spidered shards left physical evidence, and Officer Casey Shue recovers from a bullet to her leg, there are mental scars that could be left behind, as well.
"Untreated critical incidents can and well lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” said Cynthia Goss of Catch a Falling Star. “The purpose of intervention after incident is so critical."
Goss works with law enforcement agencies both nationally and internationally after traumatic incidents. Unfortunately, she said these ambush-style attacks are all too common in this day and age, which can increase stress and anxiety.
"I can only imagine - especially on their home turf - what they experienced,” Goss remarked. “Where are you safe anymore?"
Other counselors we spoke to explain officers will likely go through the department's EAP, or employee assistance program. That provides confidential assistance to both the person involved and sometimes their families. If needed, Goss' company offers peer support. She says talking to officers who have experienced similar events can help build trust, confidence, and help those affected open up more.
"Put them through a peer debrief, criticical stress debrief, help them work through all of this, so they can move forward,” said Goss.
Moving past the trauma so officers can get back in uniform to protect and serve the Queen City once more.