Criminal Who Killed 4 Officers, Wounding 4 Others Escaped Justice for Years


Terry Clark Huges Jr, 39, was a career criminal who murdered four law enforcement officers and injured four others yesterday as they attempted to serve an arrest warrant for outstanding crimes.

According to Mecklenburg County Police, the officers were met with gunfire as they arrived. Hughes was intent on murder. He was killed. Two people in the house, a 17-year-old and a woman, have not been charged.

While police have said Hughes was wanted out of Lincoln County on several charges, including possessing a firearm by a felon, the Lincoln County Clerk of Court’s Office told WCNC Charlotte.

North Carolina state records show Hughes was convicted of breaking and entering in Person County in 2010. He spent approximately six months in prison.

Terry Clark Hughes Jr

Hughes was arrested in June 2012 after a high-speed chase in Alamance County, traveling at 100 mph. At the time, he was wanted on several warrants in numerous counties for failing to appear in court. He spent nearly a year in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and speeding to elude arrest.

Hughes was arrested by CMPD on multiple drug charges in May 2021. He was also charged with fleeing or eluding arrest with a motor vehicle. Records show that he was released from jail hours later.

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather stopped prosecuting many drug crimes in early 2021 as the pandemic bogged down the court system. If Hughes had been imprisoned, he would not have been able to shoot eight officers and kill four.

Court records show many, but not all, of the charges out of Mecklenburg County were dismissed. 

Court records show Hughes has a pending case from late 2021 out of Person County for possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of marijuana. A warrant shows the Person County Sheriff’s Office found Hughes with a handgun on him. He failed to appear for a court date on those charges in February 2023. That same day, the courts issued an order for arrest that remains outstanding, according to the clerk’s office.

There are three pending orders for arrest in Mecklenburg County, where he died. The charges included possession of marijuana, fleeing and eluding arrest, and possession with the intent to sell or deliver marijuana.

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