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.