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Details Emerge In Explosion That Took SWAT Officer's Life

Details Emerge In Explosion That Took SWAT Officer's Life

The Daily Mail via YellowBrix

February 28, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC – A SWAT officer has died after he was checking a stun grenade in his home when it went off.

Officer Fred Thornton was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery but doctors were unable to save him.

The 50-year-old veteran, who was the longest serving SWAT officer on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg force in North Carolina and had previously helped in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was just months away from becoming eligible for retirement.

As his body was taken from Carolinas Medical Center officers stood to attention and saluted their colleague, a policeman of 28 years and 23 years on the SWAT team.

The married father of four had returned home from serving a search warrant with his SWAT team late on Friday afternoon and was checking over his weapons, including the stun grenade.

It is then thought to have gone off in his hand, causing massive internal bleeding and was so loud neighbours could hear the blast.

Paramedics were called and the well-liked officer was rushed to hospital to undergo emergency surgery.

According to reports, senior colleagues were at a retirement dinner when they heard the news and promptly left to offer their support.

But despite doctors efforts his blood loss was too great and he later died.

As news of his death spread, dozens of police patrol cars formed a procession with their lights and sirens on in respect.

Police Chief Rodney Monroe said through tears: ‘This is a sad day. It is just one more example of the work we expect from our people and the risk that they’re involved in every day and the risks that all too often costs our members their lives.’

He added that all SWAT officers are issued with the stun grenades, which create a ‘flash-bang’.

They are considered non-lethal weapons, but can cause injuries if held when they explode – similar to a firework.

In 2006, he was among four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department SWAT officers deployed to the Gulf coast after Hurricane Katrina.

He spent seven weeks in Waveland, Mississippi, providing help with security, transportation and labour for medical teams.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    milcop

    over 3 years ago

    762 Comments

    RIP my Brother Prayers to your family friends and co workers

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    motor141

    over 3 years ago

    54 Comments

    My heart and prayers go out to you and you're family in this time of need.
    May you stand shoulder to shoulder with our Angel Saint Michael.
    RIP BROTHER!

  • Mmal6_max50

    tbailes182

    over 3 years ago

    540 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family, friends, and loved ones.

  • Mourning_badge_max50

    Straightshooter

    over 3 years ago

    1708 Comments

    Rest in peace Officer Fred Thornton. My Prayers for your Family, friends and coworkers.

  • Asafari_max50

    northgalaxy1

    over 3 years ago

    88 Comments

    Rest in peace Fred. Let's try and figure out how this happened to make sure anything we learn can help other's......

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MP247

    over 3 years ago

    332 Comments

    Rest in Peace Officer Thorton

  • Dhs_max50

    WACollector

    over 3 years ago

    764 Comments

    Rest In Peace, Brother.

  • Hard_rock_3-20-11_max50

    Cuffs710

    over 3 years ago

    1584 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother. Another fine officer relieved of his watch. I pray for comfort and peace for your family, friends and members of your dept. You will be greatly missed.

  • 21_max50

    philfroggy

    over 3 years ago

    1564 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother

  • Imgp1010_sq50_max50

    LAWMAN329

    over 3 years ago

    60 Comments

    Thanks for your many years of service rest in peace!! May God be with your family and friends and give them comfort in there loss!!!

  • 100_1019_max50

    bobska

    over 3 years ago

    660 Comments

    So Sad!!! RIP Officer Thorton! You are a true hero and will never be forgotten!! May God look after your family and always keep them saffe, Sleep well Brother!!

  • Geiger_max50

    David4946

    over 3 years ago

    1326 Comments

    Rest In Peace Brother

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    aussie4

    over 3 years ago

    5328 Comments

    Brother Brant237, please represent those of us who wont be there to attend the funeral, tell all that....... we are with them in spirit, please. Thanks in advance...........

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    LRFTO

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    God will wrap his arms around him. RIP

  • Lastscan_max50

    Anthony313

    over 3 years ago

    48 Comments

    Rest in peace my brother, we'll continue the fight!!! May God Bless the Family.

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