Friday, February 25, 2011

CMPD SWAT Officer Fred Thornton

The "Local Paper" is reporting that a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer has died after an accident at his Mint Hill home.

Paramedics responded to a call for help at the home of Officer Fred Thornton on Tinkerton Court in Mint Hill around 5:30 p.m.



Thornton was transported to Carolinas Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He underwent emergency surgery, police said, but later died as a result of his injuries.

Police believe Thornton's injuries were the result of a distraction device that discharged as he was attempting to render his equipment safe, police said.

Thornton was a SWAT officer, and police said a distraction device is standard-issued equipment to SWAT officers during tactical operations.

Thornton, a 28-year police veteran, underwent emergency surgery, but later died as a result of his injuries. He was 50.


“Members of CMPD are heartbroken over the loss of a veteran member of their family,” CMPD spokeswoman Officer Rosalyn Harrington said in a statement.

Sources tell Cedar Posts that officer Thornton has just returned from a SWAT team call and was in the process of removing his gear from the trunk of his car when the device exploded at very close range.

Thornton was a well liked among fellow officers, and the public he served. The father of four was a hard working police officer who just last year sustained injuries while trying to assist an intoxicated motorist. (That story is here)

CMPD has lost a good man. Our prayers are with his family and all those who serve the citizens of Mecklenburg County.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cedar, you need look into this closely. Something just doesn't add up. Even if Thorton had the weapon at point blank range it should not have been fatal.

I'm telling you something is up with this story.

Anonymous said...

Previous post is nonsense, those devices are dangerous. Firecrackers that explode in your hand hurt like hell, and a flash-bang is no firecracker. Stop looking for sensationlism....accidents happen.

Thank you for your years of service and God Bless...10-42.

Anonymous said...

One less flash bang to scare those pesky poker players with.
Scary thing is these deadly devices are used on simple raids, with no regard to the "criminals". Thankfully no innocent taxpaying citizens were harmed in this incident.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:49 I hear ya! But ..... not so fast.. I have no way of knowing what type of Flash-Bang CMPD uses but I'll guess a M84 like the Army is issued.

I can not find one direct death related to a M84. Designed for subsonic deflagration unless it was defective it should not have killed Officer Thornton.

Just Saying

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What the heck? Comments on the Observer site are shut down and now Cedar has removed a comment?

What is wrong with you people. A police officer has died while trying to protect your sorry butts!

Show some respect!

ThaQueenCity said...

Articles on the CO are always shut down and redirected to a "Condolence" platform.

But I agree I cannot believe anyone could or would put down such an honorable man such as Officer Thornton....

Burkinator said...

I have to note questions still unanswered about this incident -- primarily owing to the fact that there is NO full time police beat reporter in this very big city.

The UPoR says "SWAT vehicle" -- they mean patrol car? If not, exactly what kind of vehicle are we talking about?

EXACTLY what kind of device exploded -- make and model number -- and are we certain that only ONE detonated?

Next, CMPD procedure questions. Do SWAT team members routinely take their tactical kit -- flash-bangs, full-auto weapons etc. -- home with them? What does "render safe" mean? Do SWAT team members store this type of gear in gun-locker type spaces in their homes? Or does it stay in their vehicles?

And by questions I mean "unknowns" not second-guessing.

Anonymous said...

Can't ask for much from the disturber, they can only report so much with part-time staff.

Anonymous said...

So a cop with 23 years on the SWAT team blows himself up with a weapon that is not supposed to be deadly.

Knowing chief Monroe's ability to lie and cover up just about everything that happens at CMPD, I think as does just about everyone I talk to that there is more to this.

RoMo's phoney act in front of the TV Cameras was sick.

“It is just an example of the work that we expect of our people and the risk that they are involved in every day,” said Chief Monroe.

The cop was at home, and not such a fine example of the work they should be doing.

I smell a cover-up of some sort. I hate to ask but suicide? Divorce?

Anonymous said...

1:22 You are an "F"ing idiot. STFU

Sarah said...

Are you people serious?? Do you not know what a flash bang GRANADE can do in close proximity?? (like falling in your lap and detonating). The "bang" part is a concussion that can cause major ear and brain damage thus resulting in swelling and hemmoraging.

Sarah said...

Oh, and I love how everyone who has something negative to say about this tragedy puts their name as "anonymous". Man,or woman =) up

Tammy said...

I know this man personally and more then respect him. I love him like a brother. This was a tragic accident! No one has the right to be rude or inconsiderate during these hard times. He was more then generous to everyone he ever meet. Life without him will never be the same. There is no cover-up and he was happy with his life. Looking forward to re-tiring and enjoying life. You people trying to get crap started need to remember know your place and shut up! he was and always will be a great man!

Forever missed and loved!

Freddie, may you rest in peace, God love you my sweet friend!

Anonymous said...

I too, have known Fred for many years as a fellow member of the CMPD. He was a cop's cop. To the gutless bastards who judge him by an action that caused his death is beyond comprehension. Fred was and is the epitome of service, sacrifice, and dedication. To remain on our department and SWAT team as long as he did says something about him.

Cedar Posts said...

From a number of my contacts, nothing but praise for Fred Thornton.

I've zapped a couple of comments, but unlike the "Local Paper" agreement is not required.

However let's keep it PG. Please.

Cedar Out!

Anonymous said...

Freddie was a Good Man, Good Cop, Good Team Leader, Good Husband, Father, Son. They don't make many like him and that's a fact.

Anonymous said...

Prayers & Thoughts are with the Men & Women of the CMPD, as they mourn the loss of Officer Fred Thornton. Please remember his family dealing with such a tragic loss, A Father, Husband, and a Friend to so many. He was always spot on and seeing him take care of those at Katrina is how I will remember...

Anonymous said...

Apparently there are many experts out there in the field of weapons. Consider this, if you shoot a fire cracker in your open hand it will hurt, but do minor damage. Shoot the same fire cracker in a closed hand and you pull back a missing hand. Those who consider themselve experts in weapons need to get over yourselves. This weapon, at this close range, did exactly what it did. It took the life of an officer. Those that want to bring drama to the table like "suicide" need to watch a soap opera to complete your need for drama. And those that are worried about one less poker party to be raided needs to just go find a life!

There is a family in pain and friends missing their partner.
God bless Fred and his family and friends.