Local News

Johnston Deputy Placed On Administrative Leave Following Shooting

Posted October 6, 2003 5:35 a.m. EDT

— A Johnston County sheriff's deputy was placed on administrative leave while the State Bureau of Investigation looks into the shooting of a suspect during a traffic stop.

Sheriff Steve Bizzell said Deputy Brian Clifton was on patrol when he attempted to stop Gerald Wayne O'Neal who was driving a Lexus about 10 p.m. in the Cleveland community.

Bizzell said Clifton turned on his blue lights, but O'Neal refused to stop. O'Neal and a passenger drove up a dirt road, with Clifton in pursuit.

At some point, O'Neal stopped, left the car and fled on foot, with Clifton behind. Then, Bizzell said, "It appears some type of altercation occurred."

Authorities say Clifton shot O'Neal, who was listed in good condition at WakeMed.

Officials say the Lexus was reported stolen a short time later.