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Durham Police Officer Injured, Suspect Shot During Confrontation

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DURHAM, N.C. — A Durham police officer who suffered a head injury during a Saturday confrontation has been released from the hospital. Meanwhile, a man who was shot by the officer remained hospitalized under police guard Sunday.

The confrontation occurred after Cpl. J.N. Cates Jr. responded to a call Saturday morning at Valley Terrace Apartments, 2836 Chapel Hill Road.

The suspect has been identified as Ricky Franklin Swindell Jr., 22, who lived in the apartment complex. Swindell has been charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, assault on a government official and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury.

Saturday's incident occurred while Swindell was out on bond on charges of possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed weapon. Those charges were filed in December 2003 by the Durham Police Department.

Police said Cates was patrolling the apartment complex around 11:30 a.m. Saturday in response to complaints about possible drug activity and confronted a man identifed as Swindell behaving in a suspicious manner. When Cates approached the man, the man fled, and a brief foot chase ensued.

Police said the suspect pulled out a firearm and struck Cates in the head as the two struggled. Cates drew his firearm and fired several shots, striking the suspect several times in the upper torso.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to conduct an investigation, which is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting.

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