North Carolina teacher killed in shootout with drug cartel: police

A North Carolina Spanish teacher and coach reportedly had a secret life and was killed during a shootout with a drug cartel last week, according to the police.

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said Barney Harris along with a friend, Steven Alexander Stewart, shot and killed an 18-year-old member of the Sinaloa New Generation Cartel, which led to a shootout with other cartel members, local outlet WSOC-TV reported.

Harris was declared dead at the scene and the cartel member, Alonso Beltran Lara, died at the hospital, according to the police.

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“Mr. Harris, he had a bulletproof vest on, but it did not work with the kind of ammunition that was used,” said Johnson, according to WSOC-TV. “He had gloves on, and he, they went there to do what was done except they did not think it was going to backfire on them.”

Harris, the head coach for his school’s men’s basketball and track team, was attempting to steal drugs and money from the cartel in a mobile home park in Alamance County, the police said.

Harris was reportedly popular with his students at Union Academy Charter School. The school announced his death on Sunday, according to the local CBS station, but police revealed the circumstances on Wednesday. The school has since deleted its statement about his death, according to local WBTV. The school's Twitter profile photo was still a memorial to Harris on Wednesday afternoon.

During the investigation, the police found $7,000, five firearms and 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine, police said.

The police told WSOC-TV that this underscores the jump in drug trafficking the area has seen. 

Stewart survived the shootout and is being charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the station.