Man wearing tactical vest dies in shootout with police

MOORESVILLE, NC – A man suspected in a deadly North Carolina shooting over the weekend was killed in a subsequent confrontation with local law enforcement, Sheriff Darren Campbell announced on Sunday.

The suspect, Justin Michael Strawser, was reportedly clad in a bulletproof vest and engaged in a gunfight with deputies when he was fatally wounded. The face-off took place outside a Mooresville home, where Strawser had taken refuge. Four minors were inside the home at the time but were unharmed, Campbell added.

Earlier in the day, deputies had been alerted to a shooting at a different Mooresville residence. Upon their arrival, they found two individuals dead inside the home and another critically wounded on the back porch. All victims were restrained, and the injured party was transported to the hospital with severe injuries, Campbell detailed.

According to the sheriff’s office, Strawser and the victims were known to each other, suggesting the incident was not a random act. Possible motives could include drugs and robbery, the office noted.

Upon receiving information about Strawser, deputies approached the second residence. Strawser barricaded himself inside and began firing at the officers with an AR-15, Campbell explained.

Despite the house being encircled by law enforcement, Strawser refused to surrender. It was also discovered that four minors were inside, but they declined any rescue attempts. During the standoff, Strawser’s gunfire hit several sheriff’s office vehicles, and he confessed to his involvement in the earlier shooting.

Law enforcement eventually deployed tear gas, prompting the children to leave the house. Strawser followed, still wearing his bulletproof vest and shooting at deputies. He was subsequently shot and declared dead at the scene.

The incident is currently under investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. As per standard procedure, three deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.

The victims of the initial shooting were identified as two young men, aged 22 and 24.