North Carolina teacher shot dead by Mexican cartel after trying to steal their drugs

0

A popular North Carolina high school teacher and married father of three were killed in a shootout with a Mexican cartel after trying to rob them of drugs and money.

Barney Dale Harris, 40, was shot dead last week when he raided the cartel’s storehouse in Green Level, northwest of Raleigh.

Authorities say Harris and his brother-in-law Steven Alexander Stewart broke into the mobile home, which the cartel used as a storage facility, in the early morning hours of April 8, to steal narcotics and cash.

Harris had put on a bulletproof vest before the raid.

The shooting began after the couple was confronted by a cartel member, 18-year-old Alonso Beltran Lara, when they broke into the storehouse.

North Carolina high school teacher and father Barney Dale Harris, 40, (above with his wife) was shot dead last week when he raided the cartel's storehouse in Green Level, northwest of Raleigh

North Carolina high school teacher and father Barney Dale Harris, 40, (above with his wife) was shot dead last week when he raided the cartel’s storehouse in Green Level, northwest of Raleigh

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said Harris and Stewart shot the cartel member after he refused to reveal where the drugs and money were.

The cartel member was found with his feet bound and two gunshot wounds to the back of his head.

The gunfire alerted other members of the cartel who arrived and opened the mobile home.

Harris was later found dead in a bedroom.

His brother-in-law has been arrested and charged with armed robbery and first degree murder.

Authorities later found two pounds of cocaine and $ 7,000 in cash in the storehouse. The trailer belonged to another cartel member, Juan Daniel Salinas Lara, who has an active warrant to trade cocaine.

They say Harris and Stewart had tracked cartel members using electronic devices before the shooting.

The circumstances surrounding Harris’ death have stunned his community and authorities.

Barney Harris was later found dead in a bedroom

His brother-in-law Steven Alexander Stewart was arrested and charged with armed robbery and first degree murder

Barney Harris (left) was later found dead in a bedroom. His brother-in-law Steven Alexander Stewart (right) was arrested and charged with armed robbery and first-degree murder

Authorities say Harris and his brother-in-law broke into the mobile home (above) in the early morning hours of April 8, which the cartel used as a warehouse to steal narcotics and cash.  Photo courtesy of WSOCTV

Authorities say Harris and his brother-in-law broke into the mobile home (above) in the early morning hours of April 8, which the cartel used as a warehouse to steal narcotics and cash. Photo courtesy of WSOCTV

Alonso Beltran Lara

Juan Daniel Salinas Lara

The shootout began after the couple shot 18-year-old Alonso Beltran Lara (left), a member of the cartel, when they broke into the storehouse. Authorities say the trailer belonged to another cartel member, Juan Daniel Salinas Lara (right), who has an active warrant to trade cocaine.

“It’s just hard to understand,” Sheriff Johnson said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“The fact that someone like Mr. Harris, who apparently had a pretty good life as a teacher and coach, got into these kinds of crimes.”

Harris leaves behind a wife and three children.

He taught Spanish at the Union Academy Charter School, some 130 miles from where the shooting took place.

Harris, who was described as a beloved father, was also the head coach of the school’s basketball and track teams.

The school released a statement saying, “The Union Academy family was shocked and devastated to hear the information and will continue to focus on supporting our students and families.”

The sheriff said he was now afraid of Harris’ family because of possible retaliation from the cartel.

“I’m still worried about some kind of retaliation for not forgetting the Mexican cartels,” Johnson said.

“They’re going to pay someone back and that worries me a lot as sheriff of this county.”

The circumstances surrounding Harris' death have stunned his community and authorities.  He is described as a beloved teacher and devoted father

The circumstances surrounding Harris’ death have stunned his community and authorities. He is described as a beloved teacher and devoted father

He taught Spanish at the Union Academy Charter School, some 130 miles from where the shooting took place.  Harris was also the head coach of the school's varsity basketball and track teams

He taught Spanish at the Union Academy Charter School, some 130 miles from where the shooting took place. Harris was also the head coach of the school’s varsity basketball and track teams