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Robeson County Sheriff's Deputy Upgraded to Fair Condition After Shooting

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LUMBERTON — Robeson County Sheriff's Deputy James Hunt was upgraded from critical to fair condition Friday afternoon. The four-year veteran of the force was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, after being shot twice in the chest and once in the abdomen late Wednesday night.

Deputy Hunt, and Robby Bishop, a training officer from Georgia, were about to start a drug interdiction mission on Interstate 95, when Hunt noticed a black Camaro speeding.

The officers reportedly tried to pull the Camaro over, but the driver, 17-year-old Alford Odom, lead the officers on a two-mile high speed chase.

Investigators say Odom was driving more than one-hundred miles per hour when Hunt and Bishop began chasing him.

Around 9:00 p.m., the officers pulled over Odom's car at Exit 10, south of Lumberton.

Sheriff Glenn Maynor says the officers were shot by Odom with a .357 magnum after he got out of the car and struggled with the lawmen.

"This happened so quickly that they didn't have a chance to do anything, basically, except try to defend themselves because both of them were wounded," Maynor said.

Neither officer was wearing a bulletproof vest, the sheriff says, because they were setting up for the drug interdiction mission when they began the chase.

Authorities say Hunt has shot twice by Odom, and Bishop was grazed by a bullet that first went through Hunt. The bullet then hit Bishop in the leg. Bishop was treated and released from the hospital.

Other officers who arrived at the scene chased Odom into the woods. Police say Odom kept firing. The lawmen returned fire. Bloodhounds helped officials find the suspect lying in a ditch, shot three times in the leg.

"When he saw the other officers coming, he started exchanging fire with those officers and that's when they started shooting," Maynor said.

Robeson County deputies transported Odom to Central Prison in Raleigh Thursday morning, where he is hospitalized.

Odom is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Odom recently attended Douglas Byrd High School. His classmates say they were stunned to hear the news of the arrest.

"It just doesn't seem like anything he'd do," Odom's former classmate Marie Diaz said. "He never talked about hurting anybody. He's a nice guy."

Officials are still trying to figure out if the car Odom was driving had been stolen.

Odom, a Fayetteville resident, was wanted on previous charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm and speeding to elude arrest.