Shooter was wanted by law enforcement during killing of man, teen girl

Teen, father killed at sleepover before alleged shooter takes own life

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A shooter police say went into a south Charlotte home and killed a man and a teen girl was wanted at the time.

John James Bocek, 23, was entered into the National Crime Information Center as a wanted suspect at 4 a.m. Thursday, police say. All law enforcement agencies in the country were informed.

Around 4 a.m. Sunday, Bocek broke into 16-year-old Kathleen Chaplin’s grandparents’ home and fatally shot Chaplin’s dad and friend before turning the gun on himself, police say. It happened at a Ballantyne-area home on Glenn Abbey Way, which is just off of Providence Country Club Drive.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers say they arrived to find 51-year-old Matthew Allen Chaplin and 15-year-old Jenna Elizabeth Hewitt dead from gunshot wounds. Kathleen Chaplin, Matthew Chaplin’s daughter, was able to run to a neighbor’s house and call 911.

“I do believe that his intent was to do exactly what he did," said CMPD Major Cam Selvey.

Police noted the killing happened the day after Bocek’s mom got married and while he was being sought by VCAT. “The mother could not provide members of VCAT with an address for her son,” police say.

Bocek was later found suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Police say Bocek and the Kathleen Chaplin knew each other and there was “a relationship there.” Police did not expand on the nature or extent of that relationship.

“With somebody who does something like this there is no telling what was in this man’s mind,” said Selvey.

Hewitt was Kathleen Chaplin’s friend and was staying at the home for a sleepover.

John James Bocek
John James Bocek (Source: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)

Police say they had warrants out for Bocek. He allegedly assaulted Kathleen Chaplin and took her phone. He also had warrants out involving robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in connection to a crime that happened at the home on Glenn Abbey Way.

"All too often what we are seeing are people trying to rely on firearms to handle their problems,” said Selvey.

In 2017, Bocek was apparently charged with assault on a female, cyber-stalking, threatening calls and breaking and entering to terrorize/injure.

CMPD says domestic violence played a part and that Bocek did exactly what he intended to do that the home.

It’s unclear where the teens involved attended school, but Ardrey Kell released the following statement in relation to the homicide.

Ardrey Kell families,
Brian Hacker, CMS Media Relations Specialist

The school also tweeted a photo of a rock that read, “FLY HIGH Jenna.”

WBTV spoke with Kathleen Chaplin’s older sister, 20-year-old Zoe Chaplin, Monday night. She says she has marched in groups pressing for gun control after Parkland.

Zoe said their mother died in 2016 after medical complications from an autoimmune disease.

“My sister and I are holding up. We’ve suffered a lot of tragedy and a lot of loss throughout our lives. Not just this incident. And so, if anyone is going to know what to do and how to be strong and how to navigate this, it’s going to be my sister and myself,” Zoe said.

Zoe said Sunday’s incident happened at their grandparents’ home in south Charlotte while their grandparents were out of town.

Police sources say the girls were hiding in a closet, when Bocek reportedly shot the friend, Jenna, at point-blank range.

Police say Kathleen Chaplin and Bocek apparently met online through social media.

Zoe said the family is livid that the shooter has a history of assaulting women and that he had a firearm.

On Monday afternoon, a 911 call was released from the incident.

A visitation for Hewitt will be held Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Harrison United Methodist Church on Lancaster Hwy in Pineville, NC. with funeral services to follow at 5 p.m., according to HeritageCares.com. Ardrey Kell High School tweeted Hewitt’s obituary link Tuesday evening.

CMS says Ardrey Kell and Phillip O. Berry are providing additional counselors at school Friday in addition to wearing black during this sad time.

Services for Matthew Chaplin will be held at Weddington Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Police say they are not looking for additional suspects. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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