The suspect in the ambush shooting of four York County law enforcement officers remains hospitalized in Charlotte. He has not yet been charged with any crimes.
Christian Thomas McCall, 47, was shot in the gun battle just outside York on Jan. 16. The extent of McCall’s injuries has not been released, but he remains at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, said Thom Berry, spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division.
York County Sheriff’s Office Det. Mike Doty died last week after he was shot Jan. 16 in what police say was an ambush by McCall. In a police search for McCall late on Jan. 15, three other officers also were shot -- K-9 handler Sgt. Randy Clinton, sheriff’s office Sgt. Buddy Brown and York Police Department Sgt. Kyle Cummings. Clinton, Brown and Cummings all have had several surgeries but are recovering.
S.C. Law enforcement officials have issued a fugitive warrant against McCall, said Willy Thompson, 16th Circuit Deputy Solicitor. The warrant places McCall on hold for police pending his release from the hospital. Police are watching McCall to make sure he does not leave the hospital and is not harmed, Thompson said.
Since he hasn’t been released from the hospital, he can’t be charged, Thompson said.
When McCall is able to leave the hospital, a fugitive warrant will be served and he will be put in the Charlotte jail. Then the process will start to bring McCall to South Carolina, Thompson said.
If McCall resists, that could take weeks. McCall has the right to a lawyer in North Carolina and court hearings, according to Tommy Pope, R-York and former 16th Circuit Solicitor. Pope has handled the process, called extradition, for dozens of cases. Law enforcement officials would have to seek a governor’s warrant if McCall fights extradition. That would mean that S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster would ask N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper to force McCall to be moved.
After McCall is extradited, he will go to York County where a magistrate will hold a hearing to explain the charges.
Berry confirmed it is “standard process” for a suspect who is charged in another state to be taken into custody in that state, pending extradition after the person is released from medical custody. SLED is handling the investigation because of officers involved as both victims and in shooting McCall. Berry said interviews with officers and witnesses continues, and they’re still gathering evidence from the crime scene.
When completed, SLED will pass along its case file to current 16th Solicitor Kevin Brackett, who will prosecute the cases, Berry said.
Brackett said late Monday after Doty’s funeral his office is monitoring the status of McCall.
Brackett said in a news conference Jan. 16 after the shootings there was probable cause for police to seek attempted murder and other charges against McCall. With Doty’s death, the evidence for probable cause would be the same for a murder charge in Doty’s death, Brackett.
Brackett also has said the evidence supports probable cause to charge McCall with weapons and domestic violence crimes.
Brackett has not said whether his office will seek the death penalty.
Brackett said in a statement Tuesday his office will wait for the final report from SLED before making “important decisions regarding the prosecution of this case.”
Brackett said he believes it’s important for him to speak with the three injured officers throughout the case and asked for patience from the community.
“I will hear their thoughts, answer their quesitons and tell them of my decisions personally,” he said. “(The injured officers) should have a voice in this case and their rights need to be considered before making public announcements about the case. They deserve at least that much.”