Local News

Soldier Helps Catch Suspect in Police Shooting

Posted March 26, 2007 6:49 a.m. EDT
Updated March 26, 2007 8:01 p.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville police officer was listed in good condition at a hospital Monday evening after being shot overnight during a foot chase.

Officer Douglas Austin was on patrol at around 3 a.m. Monday near Jack's Ford Road when he noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area, police said. When the vehicle refused to stop, Austin followed the vehicle to Fleishman Street, police said.

According to police, the suspects ran from their vehicle and Austin followed them on foot. He was shot by one of the suspects behind an apartment complex at 4045 Galveston Court, police said.

Austin, the son of Fayetteville City Councilwoman Lois Kirby, was shot once in the chest, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest and is expected to be OK, police said. Austin's father is Tom Austin, baseball coach at Methodist University.

"I heard about seven shots. I don't know if I heard the cops or the suspects. I don't know which one it was, but there were a lot of bullets out here," said resident Temeisha Payne.

Payne said she saw one suspect fall backwards through a fence.

A Fort Bragg soldier, who did not want to be identified, ran outside and tackled the suspected shooter until a second officer arrived at the scene.

"My wife woke up and heard some yelling out in the back yard. So, I started getting dressed, put some boots on, and then I heard a couple of shots while I was getting dressed. That made it a little more urgent," the soldier said.

"The suspect had the officer on the ground, so I went and started kicking him in the head and stomping, trying to get him off," he said. "The officer asked for help: 'Get this guy off me.'"

A second suspect in the case was apprehended Monday afternoon in the area of Dashland Drive, police said.

The names of the suspects haven't yet been released.

Austin, 23, has been with the Fayetteville Police Department since January 2005. He is the son of Fayetteville City Councilwoman Lois Kirby.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Fayetteville police at 910-433-1856.