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Morrisville police call home invasion, shooting random violence

Posted March 17, 2015

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— Police said Tuesday that a home invasion and shooting Monday night at a Morrisville apartment complex was a random act, but complex managers dispute that suggestion.

Morrisville Police Chief Ira Jones said four armed men barged into an apartment in The Bristol at Park West Village complex, at 3000 Bristol Creek Drive, shortly after 9 p.m.

"(The occupants) were expecting visitors for dinner, and when the visitors arrived, the suspects forced their way in at gunpoint behind them," Jones said.

One person was shot in the leg, and another was hit in the face. Both were taken to Duke University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police spotted a red Dodge Charger that matched the description of a vehicle leaving the scene of the shooting and pulled the car over at N.C. Highway 540 and N.C. Highway 54, Jones said. When officers approached the car, however, someone in the back seat raised what appeared to be a gun, and one of the officers fired once at the car, he said.

The Charger then sped off, and a chase ensued.

One officer hit a curb during the chase and blew a tire. Sgt. Christopher Rhew, a 24-year veteran of the department, became physically ill and vomited during the pursuit.

Rhew suffered what was described Monday night as a "medical episode" – an "officer down" call was issued – and he had to be taken to Duke Hospital for treatment.

The suspects were able to get away, and police are still following leads in the case.

Jones said shooting appears to be a random act, noting the apartment occupants said they didn't know the gunmen.

Management at The Bristol told tenants a different story on Tuesday.

"We just got an email from the apartment community. They say this was not a random act," resident Hemendran Gupte said.

Jones said he doesn't understand how apartment managers can make that statement when it's still unclear whether the victims knew the assailants.

A woman entering the apartment where the shooting occurred declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

The Charger has a temporary license plate and a bullet hole in the right side.

Anyone with information about the care or the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-463-1577.


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