CMPD remembers fallen officer in wake of Florence shooting

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The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is spending part of their time this week remembering one of their own who died in the line of duty.

On October 5, 1993, officers John Burnette and Andy Nobles were killed while pursuing a stolen car suspect off West Boulevard. The two were chasing Alden Harden, who was eventually convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death row.

The anniversary hits just days after the shootings in Florence that left a police officer dead and six other officers injured.

"Our families are going to know what those families are going through," said Randy Hagler, president of the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police.

The shootings in Florence have taken on extra resonance with those who knew Burnette and Nobles.

"It tears us apart that somebody just uselessly killes a police officer, for whatever reason," said Whit Neal, a retired CMPD officer who served with the fallen officers back in 1993.  "There's no sense in it, there's none."

Given the experience they've gone through themselves, Neal said his fellow officers learned hard lessons about losing those close to them in the line of duty.

"We came together as one and stayed that way through the whole process," he said.  "And today, we're still a family."