Memorial for fallen police at Timber Ridge apparently vandalized

Jul. 07, 2010

A memorial for two police officers killed at a troubled east Charlotte apartment complex was apparently vandalized Tuesday morning, several days after a police officer shot a man during a foot chase there.

The cross-shaped brick planter was built at the Timber Ridge apartments after the 2007 shootings of Officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton, who were killed while answering a call at Timber Ridge.

On Tuesday, bricks were knocked from the top rows of the planter and smashed.

Though police wouldn’t speculate on a motive for the damage, some residents said they thought it was vandalism in retaliation for the shooting of 21-year-old Terrence Darden.

Police say an officer shot Darden when the man displayed a gun during a foot chase.

“I think they’re trying to retaliate,” said Kathy Millner, 22. “They’re upset. A lot of people are angry.”

Millner said residents were especially upset that the shooting happened near a playground, in view of children.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department spokesman Officer Robert Fey said Timber Ridge’s management – which owns the memorial – did not file a police report.

Fey said any link between Tuesday’s apparent vandalism and Darden’s shooting would be “pure speculation and a disservice to the community.”

Darden is still in the hospital, but he’s expected to recover. He faces gun and drug possession charges, as well as assault on an officer.

Police are still investigating the incident, and haven’t said whether Darden was shot in the front or back of his chest, or specified whether he pointed the gun at officers.

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