Barney Harris, a high basketball coach in North Carolina, was shot and killed in a shootout with a Mexican drug cartel last week, according to WCNC Charlotte.
Per the Alamance Country Sheriff’s Office, Harris died on Thursday, April 8 after being shot while allegedly trying to rob a stash house with his brother-in-law. The investigation has led the sheriff’s office to believe that the two were trying to steal money and drugs from the cartel.
“It was believed that this was during a home invasion for money and drugs,” Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson told WCNC Charlotte on Wednesday April 14.
Harris and his brother-in-law, Steven Alexander Stewart Jr., reportedly killed a drug runner before the shootout began. Officers eventually found Harris inside the house after he had been shot multiple times.
Stewart Jr. was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree burglary.
“I can tell you this right now. When we are dealing with the Mexican drug cartel, somebody’s probably going to die as a result of this right here, somewhere else. And we did not want to put it out there until we could get a good grip of what’s going on here,” Johnson told reporters.
The sheriff’s office reportedly seized five firearms, about $7,000 in cash, and 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine at the crime scene.
BREAKING: Barney Harris, the men's basketball coach at Union Academy, was killed in a shootout with a Mexican drug cartel in Alamance County, North Carolina, deputies said. https://t.co/LMlmkn7plT
— WCNC Charlotte (@wcnc) April 14, 2021
Harris worked as a teacher at Union Academy, where he also served as the men’s basketball coach and varsity head track coach. The school released a statement upon his death.
“He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, players, students and colleagues,” Union Academy wrote. “The Harris family asks for your thoughts and prayers and to please respect their privacy at this time.”