Local News

Drug Deal Turns Violent: Undercover Officer, Suspect Wounded

Posted March 11, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— An undercover police officer and a suspect were shot in the Hollywood Heights neighborhood in Fayetteville.

The suspect, Ron Lilly, was shot in the arm. The officer was grazed in the arm suffering only superficial wounds.

Investigators say the battle broke out after a drug deal between an undercover narcotics officer and two alleged drug dealers: Ron Lilly and Eric Harrell.

Police say the two suspects were selling cocaine when the shooting began, and that the westside Fayetteville neighborhood was randomly chosen as a meeting place.

"This house has nothing to do with it," says LT. Katherine Keith with the Fayetteville Police Department. "It's a secondary location chosen by the subjects where they wanted the transaction to take place. The primary location fell through so it was just a coincidence that they ended up here at a vacant house."

The three men were outside in broad daylight when the gunfire was exchanged, and at least one car was riddled with bullets.

Neighbors say they hit the floor when they heard the gunfire. The narcotics officer was taken to a nearby hospital.

Harrell fled the scene immediately after the shooting, but police picked him up shortly thereafter. Both suspects were behind bars Friday night.