Local News

Sheriff: Deputy shot suspect after chase, crash

Posted January 2, 2009 2:03 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams said that a deputy shot a suspect after stopping and chasing a car from which witnesses said men randomly fired in Warrenton Friday.

Callers told 911 dispatchers that four men were shooting out a car's windows while driving around town shortly after noon, Williams said. A deputy pursued the car, and a state trooper fueling up at a nearby Department of Transportation station joined the chase down Martin Luther King Boulevard/S.R. 1001.

The driver pulled over outside the city limits but again attempted to flee, William said. The car sideswiped another one occupied by a pregnant woman and her toddler, and the suspect lost control of his car. It careened up the front lawn of some abandoned mobile homes and crashed through some trees.

Witnesses, including DOT workers, told WRAL News that during the traffic stop, a man in the back seat pulled out a shotgun and fired at the deputy, while other men fled from the car.

Williams said he could not say when the suspect was shot or if the suspects fired on deputies, due to a review of the incident by the State Bureau of Investigation.

"We did find a weapon at the scene of where the accident happened," Williams said.

The injured suspect, a man in his early 30, was transported to Maria Parham Hospital in Henderson and then taken to Duke University Hospital.

The pregnant woman whose car was hit said she and her son were OK. But a part of the suspects' car was stuck in the wheel well of her car, and its drivers' side rear-view mirror, bumper and headlight were damaged.

Deputies arrested three men after they attempted to flee, Williams said. The identity of the suspects and the charges they face have not been released.

For several hours, state troopers and sheriff's deputies blocked off Martin Luther King Boulevard about a mile from the crime scene.

The SBI's review of the incident follows standard procedure for all officer-involved shootings in North Carolina.