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Arrests made in Sanford police officer shooting

Posted December 20, 2009
Updated December 21, 2009

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— Authorities have made two arrests in connection with the Sunday morning shooting of a Sanford police officer.

Sanford officer shot while on patrol Sanford officer shot while on patrol

Breon Montrell Black, 21, of 2518 Dalrymple St. in Sanford, and Thomas Harold Mitchell II, 16, of 1800 Marks Road in Cameron, are charged in the shooting of Officer Scott Norton. 

The 33-year-old officer was shot at least five times on Thornwood Drive in the Thornwood Village mobile home park around 12:45 a.m., said Capt. David Smith. Norton and his partner had stopped to question four men in the area, which has seen a recent increase in crime.

"I was watching TV, and before I knew it, I heard shooting," said Alberto Cantu, who lives near the scene. "I came to the door, and a bunch of cars were right there. Then, I see the man lying on the ground right there."

Norton was struck in the lower part of his body by five bullets. He was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where he was in fair condition Monday.

Norton is expected to make a full recovery, Smith said. He credited Norton's bulletproof vest for helping save his life.

Norton is on the Sanford Police Department's SWAT team and has been with the force for 5 years. He is married and has children.

Investigators canvassed the neighborhood and talked with residents throughout Sunday in hopes of getting some leads.

According to the Sanford Herald, there have been two armed muggings in Thornwood Village in the past two weeks. Police said they have increased patrols in the area but declined to comment on specific crimes.

Police and residents said the shooting of an officer raises greater concerns.

"They knew who they were firing at," he said. "They fired at a police officer who can return fire. You don't know what they may do."

"They need to be behind bars. They don't need to be on the streets, that is for sure," Cantu said.

Black and Mitchell were charged with two counts each of attempted first-degree murder and assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle.

Black and Mitchel were being held Sunday in the Lee County Jail. Black's bail was set at $960,000, while Mitchell's was $860,000.

Smith said additional arrests are expected to be made in the shooting.

Black is on probation for a 2007 conviction for possession of drugs with intent to sell, according to state Department of Correction records. He also has convictions for larceny and driving with a revoked license.

21 Comments

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  • ladyblue Dec 21, 2009

    thank goodness those scoundrels were caught. Hope they throw all the charges at them because if they will do that to an officer no telling what they would do to other innocent people in the near future.

  • nc_copper1993 Dec 21, 2009

    THANK GOD THIS OFFICER IS GOING TO BE OK, AND 2 OF THE 4 BAD GUYS ARE OF THE STREET. WHAT DO YOU THINK THESE MODEL CITIZENS WOULD DO IF YOU LOOKED AT THEM WRONG AT A STORE, IF THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM SHOOTING AT A POLICE OFFICER.

  • Da Toy Maker Dec 21, 2009

    Thank God that the office had his Vest on. Praying for a speedy recover!

  • Raptor06 Dec 21, 2009

    "Statistics don't lie."

    Liars figure and figures lie. Sorry you didn't learn that in school. Too much politics.

  • floseh Dec 21, 2009

    ech,remember that the Rev. Grease Ball Barber has to have his cut of this hog too.
    The Floseh

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 21, 2009

    ginaosbo, if your parents were dirt poor, uneducated and lived in the slums...would you be exactly where you are today?

    You parents didn't finish high school, your mom had you when she was 16, your neighbors deal drugs, someone gets gunshot at least once a week....

    Is it possible that being reared in these conditions, every day of your life, might adversely influence you to some degree?...and therefore alter your adult path in society?

  • YNCSW51 Dec 21, 2009

    I would like to know what their thought process was when they pull out a gun and shot a armed police officer. I have no words.

  • leo-nc Dec 21, 2009

    Glad he's going to be ok and glad the perps were caught. Waiting now for Gandalla and journey to come on here to and find a way to blame the police officer for being shot...

  • whatusay Dec 21, 2009

    All this culture of violence was started by the democrats when entitlements (welfare) began. People now believe they can do anything and get away with it, including killing other people. And, the punishment is not a deterrent because the left wing liberals don't want anyone punished, but rehabilitated. Until our government demands the return of family values and eliminates welfre crime will continue to escalate. But, the only way democrats can be elected is to keep promising hand-outs to people who refuse to work, (like the Obama care).

  • ginaosbo Dec 21, 2009

    "We don't need any of this right-wing mumbo-jumbo and sarcasm." raptor

    Really sir? Not sure why when I use the very words the "legislature" used when selling these many BILLIONS of dollars to "help" these folks for DECADES, you call it mumbo jumbo. Sorry but sarcasm is all I come up with.
    You handle what you see your way, I'll handle what I see my way. I do hope that if OK with you!!! or not!

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