5-year-old in car during Spring Lake shooting is 'safe and sound'
Posted February 7
Updated February 8
Spring Lake, N.C. — Melanie Wensel, 24, 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 was first to respond when someone reported that Wensel was driving recklessly inside the Skyland shopping center in Spring Lake
"He saw the vehicle operating in a careless and reckless manner," Spring Lake Police Chief Charles Kimble said. "He went and engaged the vehicle. And during that confrontation is where he hit the vehicle."
In a 911 call released by Spring Lake police, a caller said the driver attempted to run over someone and may be drunk.
That confrontation took place in a furniture store parking lot on Highway 210.
"During that exchange, shots were fired," Kimble said. "The vehicle took off again. Officers of the Spring Lake Police Department tried to reengage the driver. That was unsuccessful."
Wensel drove to East Manchester Road and finally stopped not far from her home. At that point, officers learned the suspect's 5-year-old daughter was in the car. Kimble said he is not sure if Officer Deleon knew that before he shots were fired.
"Officer Deleon has not been interviewed yet, so I can't speak to what he knew at the time that he engaged Ms. Wensel," Kimble said.
According to radio traffic released by the Spring Lake Police Deaprtment, Wensel was shot in the left shoulder.
Adam Wensel did not want to go on camera but was remorseful of his wife's actions and apologetic to police.
"I am glad to hear that the police officer involved was released from the hospital with no life-threatening injuries. My daughter, Emily, who was in the vehicle while this was happening, is safe and sound," he said in a written statement.
Adam Wensel said his wife underwent surgery Tuesday morning and continues to recover at the hospital.
Wensel was charged with driving while impaired, according to online court records.