Local News

Attorney says Durham police officer shot himself

Posted December 19, 2012
Updated December 20, 2012

— A gunshot wound that injured a Durham police officer was self-inflicted, an attorney for the man charged in the shooting said Wednesday during a first court appearance for his client.

Durham police say Officer Kelly A. Stewart was shot in the leg during a struggle at a traffic stop on Forest Road Tuesday morning.

Carlos Antonio Riley Jr., 21, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after a nearly three-hour manhunt and was later charged with assault on a law enforcement officer causing serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

But his attorney said Wednesday that Stewart, who was not in uniform, pulled up with his lights and siren on, got out of the car and was screaming expletives at Riley.

Stewart injured himself with his own gun, the attorney said.

Riley's father, who was present for the first court appearance, would not talk about specifics of the case.

"You heard the lawyer, his side of the story," Carlos Riley Sr. said. "The truth will prevail. It's in God's hands. That's all I can say."

Patricia Riley said her grandson has been trying to get back on the right path after a larceny conviction and several drug-related charges over the past few years.

"(I'm in) disbelief," she said. "That's not my grandson at all."

Carlos Riley Jr., meanwhile, remains in the Durham County jail under a $1 million bond.

Stewart, 26, has been a Durham police officer since July 2007, a police spokeswoman said.

Police are still looking for his badge and .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun, which were stolen in the shooting.

Anyone with information that could help lead to the recovery of the gun and the badge is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.

Kammie Michael, a spokeswoman for the police department, said Kelly Stewart is not the Durham police officer who was fired for drunken driving while on duty.

That officer, Kevin A. Stewart, was dismissed in December 2010 and had been with the police department for nearly two years, Michael said.


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  • cynicaljill Dec 21, 2012

    Obviously Raynor has gone to the police academy
    You people dont remember that cops are normal,average people, they are not Gods, so dont expect them to have strength like one
    I personally have been through the academy and know officers are taught how to handle themselves, but you werent there so you dont know exactly it happened

  • hp277 Dec 21, 2012

    People actually believe this defense attorney? Seriously? HAHAHA

    It's the word of an experienced police officer vs someone with "a larceny conviction and several drug-related charges over the past few years."

    Was the cop a Barney Fife who couldn't get his gun out? Was he struggling with himself? Why did Riley run instead of helping the wounded officer, or at least hang around for EMS?

  • ThaTruth4 Dec 21, 2012

    I see this Officer is gonna get off, due to the suspect's "already" criminal history. FYI, I know ppl that's had 2 prove DCPD 2 be wrong (& they DID), so even an Officer's credibility is questionable 2 me. THIS IS "MY" OPINION btw.

  • ThaTruth4 Dec 21, 2012

    To all of u that is saying the Officer did NOT make this up... yea right. I said last night, this story sounded fishy...& still does. Im glad he's ok, but come on, how u LET some1 get n contact with YOUR gun & badge...come on ppl. I don't think the suspect did that. I think the Officer was def involved n this somehow.

  • tab580642 Dec 20, 2012

    To hp277, I guess in your mind it's totally implausible that a police officer is capable of shooting himself accidentally? And if he did do you think for one minute he would say that he did? Of course this criminal should be held accountable for his actions, but we don't know all of the facts and counting on all police officers to be totally honest all the time is almost as bad as believing that someone who is accused of a crime is guilty! Let the accused go done for what he actually did all while keeping in mind that police officers are human and capable of not telling the truth too.

  • beaulahjackson4 Dec 20, 2012

    Cops should not be able to carry guns while not in uniform.
    Marty King
    Actually, some municipalities in certain states require an officer off duty to always carry. As in a case where an off duty officer is standing in line at a bank and someone comes in to rob it...the officer is expected to contain the situation if at all possible. Not certain about NC but I know this to be true in other states.

  • gr8212 Dec 20, 2012

    What an idiotic uninformed news report by WRAL. Get your facts straight and stop bashing police officers as you always do. FYI, there are such undercover officers such as this officer. Not all were uniforms but all do carry a badge, id and a gun like this one. Whether or not the officer shot himself during the struggle with this fine citizen of Durham or not is a moot point, you don't fight the police. BTW Grandma of bad guy, your innocent son has been arrested numerous times, its public information go look. I guess innocent people steal a police badge and gun too?? Just shut up!

  • hp277 Dec 20, 2012

    "Stewart injured himself with his own gun, the attorney said."

    Wow. I watch a good bit of TV, and that might be one of the most original and creative arguments I have ever heard from a defense attorney.

    It's absurd, but credit is due for originality.

  • Bullcity34 Dec 20, 2012

    That's right WRAL good journalism. This liberal agenda you post is just what is wrong with this country. The criminal is always innocent. This headline looks like you are already 0saying the officer shot himself. He was doing his job and a convicted felon who obviously was doing something he shouldn't have and shot an officer who is doing his public duty to protect you so you can post this liberal "cops are the enemy" bologne. I pray for our countries future, this is pathetic.

  • dare107 Dec 20, 2012

    NCFireman, You need to worry about putting water on the fire and not trying police work! Police are proactive, not reactive you can't always wait for back up. Being a public servant you should know better than to comment on things you don't have a clue about. Go take and nap and watch somemore TV!