Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Officer Down News

-41

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.


-41
  • Dolphins_fantasy_max50

    dolphinblue

    over 3 years ago

    42984 Comments

    R.I.P.

  • Me2_max50

    bstites

    over 3 years ago

    1028 Comments

    RIP Brotha. You will be missed

  • Thinker_max50

    darsavmo

    over 3 years ago

    11360 Comments

    RIP and condolences to his family...

  • 12235_sq90_max50

    chiefkcr

    over 3 years ago

    3614 Comments

    RIP my Brother, GOD be with you and yours.

  • Monday_march_3_police_blotter_max50

    fraustr1

    over 3 years ago

    532 Comments

    R.I.P

  • Airplane_max50

    rmstone

    over 3 years ago

    5122 Comments

    Rest In Peace Officer Thornton.

  • Paramedic_ffl__2_max50

    RebelPrincess

    over 3 years ago

    382 Comments

    Your brothers have the watch now, RIP Officer Thornton.
    Clearly we can see ...Heroes Behind the Badge
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS547PRwpPc

  • Metacchandler_max50

    RHiltonJr

    over 3 years ago

    848 Comments

    PCPD2601 Major Bump...
    Rest in Peace Officer Thornton, you have done nothing but good on this earth

  • L_42e184eb37a43bf524c07e7e8b41b840_max50

    policekilt

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    Godspeed brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Mtarte

    over 3 years ago

    112 Comments

    burke824, I guess you know both the policies and procedures of Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD as well as what Officer Thorton was doing when this tragedy occurred. All I can say is that this is a tragedy for his family, friends and co-workers. An investigation will possibly come up with a probable cause for Officer Thorton's death. To speculate with no evidence is presumptious and wrong of you. RIP Officer Thorton.

  • Grad_photo1_max50

    navyfirefighter2004

    over 3 years ago

    1264 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother

  • Hpim0324_max50

    boritico

    over 3 years ago

    928 Comments

    R.I.P.B.

  • Lieutenantocpd_max50

    sehambone51

    over 3 years ago

    180 Comments

    Although we should always evaluate and investigate anything that happens like this, now is not the time or the place for someone,(burke824), to speculate on what happened or why. I would have to believe that an officer with this experience was handling the grenade within accepted practices. It could have been a defect in the product or just an unfortunate accident. Regardless, how would you feel if someone that knows absolutely NOTHING about what happened, started to run their mouth where the family can see and be critical of the officer and make it his fault without knowing what happened. I have my equipment with me at all times and it is locked up and away from my family at all times. I am sure he conducted himself using the same safety precautions for his family that I use. Keep your hurtful comments to yourself or at least in a realm that the family cannot see. RIP Brother, God must have needed you all too soon.

  • Eagle-3_max50

    Cap701

    over 3 years ago

    116 Comments

    As you departed the bonds of this earth and touched the face of God, know that the service and dedication you had for your department, its fellow officers and the citizens of your community will never be forgotten. May God comfort in this time of sorrow your family, your fellow officers and all those whose lives you have touched.

    I will be brief in stating that burke 824 should be "flagged" until he can learn what this site is for. It is to honor those, not disgrace them.

    RIP Officer Thornton, we’ll take it from here.

  • Esu_patch_max50

    esu

    over 3 years ago

    498 Comments

    RIP brother,, my thoughts and prayers with your family and your dept. On another note as someone who does the SWAT thing and has handled bangs on too many occasions to count would love to see some precise info on what happened. That info may save a life down the road,,,,,,

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

20140805_130110-1_max30
Danie526 commented on: "Gary", 5 minutes ago.
20140805_130110-1_max30
Danie526 uploaded the photo: "20140805_130110-1", 14 minutes ago.
Photo_user_banned_big
grusseldewan gave a thumbs up to The Topic "Wake Forest vs Louisiana Monroe Live Stream Week-1 NCCA O...", 27 minutes ago.