A basketball coach and teacher at a North Carolina charter school was killed last Thursday during a shootout that involved a drug cartel, local police told WBTV. The violence broke out as a result of a home invasion that took place in a mobile home park.
Barney Harris, the man identified as the teacher, was a basketball and track coach at Union Academy. According to the Alamance County Sheriff's Office, Harris and his brother-in-law, broke into what is believed to be a stash house for a Mexican drug cartel. Law enforcement believes the two were trying to steal money and drugs from the home.
According to police, Harris' brother-in-law shot a drug runner for the cartel, which kicked off the shootout. Harris was then shot multiple times and found dead when officers arrived at the scene. Police also reportedly seized 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine, five guns and about $7,000 in cash.
Union Academy released a statement in the wake of the incident which reads, "Union Academy's first priority is caring for and protecting our students and staff. Earlier today, law enforcement released details about last week's death of one of our teachers, Barney Dale Harris II. The Union Academy family was shocked and devastated to hear the information and will continue to focus on supporting our students and families. Any questions about the investigation should be directed to law enforcement."
The local sheriff revealed the connection to a Mexican drug cartel in a press conference Wednesday. No one in the surrounding mobile homes was hurt in the shootout, though some trailers were struck with bullets.