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24-year-old woman shot after hitting Spring Lake officer with car

Posted February 6
Updated February 7

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— The woman who was shot Monday night after she drove into a Spring Lake police officer had her 5-year-old daughter in the car, police said.

Officer Milton Deleon responded to a report of a careless and reckless driver in the 800 block of Lillington Highway at about 8:40 p.m.

Authorities said Deleon pulled over the vehicle and began speaking to the driver, 24-year-old Melanie Wensel, of Spring Lake. Wensel then fled from the traffic stop, hitting the officer with the vehicle. Captain Charles Kimble said Deleon was struck in his lower extremities but it is not clear if Wensel was aiming for the officer.

Deleon fired his service weapon, striking Wensel as she fled, police said. Wensel's daughter, who was sitting in the seat behind Wensel, was not injured. She was turned over to her father.

Deleon and Wensel were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for treatment. Deleon was treated and released, and Wensel is in stable condition.

Kimble said authorities will review tapes and body camera footage from the scene.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the investigation.

5 Comments

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  • Tim Orr Feb 7, 2:17 p.m.
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    So how was his life threatened if she was fleeing? Why aren't the media hanging this guy? Is this a racial decision to not pursue him?

  • George Orwell Feb 7, 12:49 p.m.
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    That's not standard procedure. This was a single cop pulling a driver over. They always pull up behind the suspect vehicle so that the dash cam captures the incident. Most likely, the officer was beside the vehicle when she took off and got side swiped.

    Standard police operating procedure is to never fire into an occupied vehicle. And this vehicle had a child in it as well. If he hit the child the officer would be up on charges.

    This was was a drunk/impaired driver stop. The daughter had no choice since she was in the backseat in a child safety seat.

  • Bob Owens Feb 7, 12:09 p.m.
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    You have no idea what angle the shot was fired from, and have no evidence to support your claim. Odds are that he fired as she was driving towards him.

  • Tyler Atkins Feb 7, 10:45 a.m.
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    Heck of a shot though! In the dark, after being hit to some extent, moving target inside a fleeing car, with a pistol.

  • George Orwell Feb 7, 6:42 a.m.
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    Firing the weapon into an occupied vehicle as it was fleeing, meaning he fired at the back of her head. Against every police department policy across the country. Well, it is Spring Lake after all.