Local News

Raleigh Cop Tells His Story Since Being Shot At Sports Bar

Posted August 20, 2001

— A few weeks ago, an off-duty Raleigh Police officer was shot outside a sports bar in east Raleigh. He is now out of the hospital and at home doing well.

Detective David Powell cannot walk down the halls of the Raleigh Police Department without shaking a lot of hands. That is because Powell was shot five times at the Top Rank Sports Bar while working off-duty last month.

"Initially when I got shot, the first few seconds I was scared. I actually thought I was going to die," he says.

Powell says his police training kept him calm.

"If you die in your mind, your body will follow. I realized I couldn't think that way, so I started thinking that I was going to live," he says.

Officer Archie McLeod was also working off-duty at the club. When Powell got shot, McLeod returned fire at the suspect's car.

"It will make you torn between going after the suspect who did this to him and helping out your brother. It kind of rips you apart," he says.

Rhonda Powell, Detective Powell's wife, is also a Raleigh Police Officer. She heard the news on the police scanner that night.

"I knew that it was my husband who had been shot," she says. "I can't describe what I was feeling. I was just terrified, scared, just worried about him."

"I feel like God spared my life for a reason. I don't know what it is yet, but I think I'll find out," Powell says. "I'm going to continue to be dedicated and committed to the citizens of Raleigh."

Powell says he hopes to return to work within a few months. He says the tremendous support he has received from the community and fellow officers is a big help in his recovery.

An internal affairs investigation cleared McLeod of any wrongdoing in the incident. He is back on the job, and back at the same nightclub working off-duty security.

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