This might be the most unusual and unsuspecting story of the year so far.
A North Carolina-area teacher was killed this week in a shootout involving a drug cartel member. Sheriff’s deputies arrived at a mobile home park and found two people shot inside the trailer.
Barney Dale Harris was pronounced dead at the scene, and Alonso Beltran Lara was taken to a local hospital, but later passed away from his injuries.
Barney Harris was not only a teacher at Union Academy Charter School, but also the basketball head coach.
The school provided a statement after news broke of the incident.
“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 statement read.
“Alamance County Sheriff’s Office detectives processed the crime scene gathering evidence, and have determined that both men (Harris and Lara) were a part of separate criminal enterprises.
The sheriff says Lara was believed to be a drug runner for the Sinaloa New Generation Cartel and the trailer was believed to be the stash house.
Investigators believe Harris and a team of people were at the home to steal drugs and money. At some point, deputies say there was a shootout leading to the deaths of Harris and Lara.
During the course of the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office seized 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine, five guns and about $7,000 in cash.”
Another person connected to the crime, Steven Alexander Stewart, Jr., was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Stewart is Harris’ brother-in-law and they arrived at the mobile home park together.
Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said Harris and Stewart broke into a trailer, but didn’t get information from Alonso Beltran Lara about the stash, so they shot him in the head.
“And they were trying to find the money and drugs and apparently he didn’t give them the information to do that and he was technically close range, two bullets to the back of the head, he was executed,” Johnson said.
Johnson said after the pair killed Alonso Beltran Lara, other members of the cartel showed up and Harris was killed in the gunfire that followed.
Harris was found with several gun shots wounds when he was found dead at the scene. Deputies said Lara had his feet bound and arms tied behind his back when he was found.
“The trailers that were shot up. It look like an old Western shoot out, that’s what it looked like,” Johnson said.