Local News

Attorney says Durham police officer shot himself

Posted December 19, 2012 12:46 p.m. EST
Updated December 20, 2012 5:32 p.m. EST

— A gunshot wound that injured a Durham police officer was self-inflicted, an attorney for the man charged in the shooting said Wednesday during a first court appearance for his client.

Durham police say Officer Kelly A. Stewart was shot in the leg during a struggle at a traffic stop on Forest Road Tuesday morning.

Carlos Antonio Riley Jr., 21, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after a nearly three-hour manhunt and was later charged with assault on a law enforcement officer causing serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

But his attorney said Wednesday that Stewart, who was not in uniform, pulled up with his lights and siren on, got out of the car and was screaming expletives at Riley.

Stewart injured himself with his own gun, the attorney said.

Riley's father, who was present for the first court appearance, would not talk about specifics of the case.

"You heard the lawyer, his side of the story," Carlos Riley Sr. said. "The truth will prevail. It's in God's hands. That's all I can say."

Patricia Riley said her grandson has been trying to get back on the right path after a larceny conviction and several drug-related charges over the past few years.

"(I'm in) disbelief," she said. "That's not my grandson at all."

Carlos Riley Jr., meanwhile, remains in the Durham County jail under a $1 million bond.

Stewart, 26, has been a Durham police officer since July 2007, a police spokeswoman said.

Police are still looking for his badge and .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun, which were stolen in the shooting.

Anyone with information that could help lead to the recovery of the gun and the badge is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.

Kammie Michael, a spokeswoman for the police department, said Kelly Stewart is not the Durham police officer who was fired for drunken driving while on duty.

That officer, Kevin A. Stewart, was dismissed in December 2010 and had been with the police department for nearly two years, Michael said.