Local News

Highway Shootout Involves Three Law Enforcement Agencies

Posted October 29, 1996

— Durham police, state troopers and Durham County deputies were all involved in a car chase and shootout Tuesday. It started when an undercover police officer attempted to pull over a suspicious driver on East End Avenue. The man did not pull over, but began shooting at the officer. A chase ensued.

Two other officers heard about the situation on their police radio and joined in the pursuit which led police onto Highway 70, then Interstate 85, where highway patrol officers got into the fray. They, too, were shot at.

Police say dozens of shots were fired, and several law enforcement vehicles were peppered with bullet holes. One Durham police officer was injured by flying glass from his windshield and one officer was involved in an accident because of the gunfire, but no law enforcement officers were shot.

The suspect got off I-85 at the Hillandale Road exit and eventually hit another vehicle. At that point, the driver got out of the stolen Nissan and ran into a nearby wooded area.

Police pursued and captured the suspect, who has been identified as 17-year-old Michael Howard. They found bullet casings and an undisclosed amount of marijuana in the Burgandy Nissan and found a handgun in the woods where the suspect ran after hitting the van.

The driver of the van was injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

According to police, Howard will face charges including assault on police officers with a deadly weapon, endangering the public, stolen vehicle and various weapons charges.

The chase through busy Durham streets, which lasted for about 15 minutes, reached speeds of 90 to 100 mph at times.

Police say there may have been other people injured along the way, but they had not heard of any by 5 p.m. Tuesday.


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