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A popular high school teacher was killed in a shootout with a Mexican drug cartel last week.
Authorities say Barney Dale Harris and his brother-in-law tried to rob its "stash house."
In a press conference, the Alamance County sheriff called the scene an "old Western shootout."
A high school teacher and coach in North Carolina was killed last week in a shootout with the Mexican drug cartel after attempting to rob an alleged "stash house" belonging to the group, authorities said Wednesday.
Barney Dale Harris, a high school Spanish teacher and head basketball coach, and his brother-in-law, Steven Alexander Stewart Jr. are accused of breaking into a mobile home belonging to a member of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to NBC News.
Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said at a Wednesday news conference the Jalisco New Generations cartel is one of the world's most powerful drug trafficking organizations, the outlet reported.
"I can tell you right now, when we are dealing with the Mexican drug cartel, someone is going to die as a result of this," 11 Eyewitness News reported Johnson said.
Investigators say Harris and Stewart Jr. broke into the home of Alonso Beltra Lara in the early morning of April 8, and waited for him to return home.
When the 18-year-old Lara arrived, authorities say Harris and Stewart Jr. questioned him about a stash of money and drugs. When Lara refused to cooperate, he was taken outside, bound by his feet, and shot "execution style," twice in the back of the head, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Additional cartel members then arrived and opened fire, killing Harris, 11 Eyewitness News reported.
Deputies responded to the scene around 1 a.m. after receiving multiple calls of gunfire at the mobile home located about 30 miles northwest of Greensboro, the sheriff's office said.
When authorities arrived, they found Harris dead in a bedroom wearing a bulletproof vest, mask, and gloves, according to The Observer. Lara was found alive, though he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
"It was almost like an old Western shootout," Johnson said.
No other injuries were reported, but Johnson said officers found over 30 shell casings in and around the mobile home, including bullet holes in three nearby mobile homes, The Observer reported.
Deputies seized five firearms, 1.2 kilograms of cocaine, and roughly $7,000 in cash from the scene, authorities said.
Stewart Jr., 32 was arrested on Sunday after officers searched his home and found what they described as "related objects tied to the crime scene," according to NBC. He was charged with first-degree burglary and first-degree murder, and is being held without bond in an Alamance County jail.
In a Wednesday press conference, Johnson warned of possible retaliation by the cartel, saying, "the Mexican cartels, they don't forget, they're gonna pay back somebody, somewhere. And that concerns me greatly as sheriff of this county."
Harris's school Union Academy Charter School in Monroe, posted a statement responding to his death last week that has since been taken down, according to The Observer.
"The UA community is mourning the unexpected loss of teacher and coach Barney Harris," the school posted. "UA students, staff, and families are asked to wear UA Spirit Wear on Monday, April 12, to celebrate the life of Coach Barney Harris whose motto 'All Love...No Fear' will be forever a part of who we are as a school."
After the sheriff announced more details Wednesday, the school released another statement to WBTV.
"The Union Academy family was shocked and devastated to hear the information and will continue to focus on supporting our students and families," the school told the outlet.
Read the original article on Insider