One person is in custody after Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said someone fired shots at an officer on Wilkinson Boulevard Friday.
Police said the incident began about 10:30 a.m. when the patrol officer went to help a motorist whose vehicle was disabled in the 2100 block of Wilkinson Boulevard, between West Morehead Street and Suttle Avenue.
As the officer neared the vehicle, she recognized it as one suspected of having been stolen during a home invasion last week, police said.
When the officer approached the motorist, the driver produced a firearm and the officer immediately fired her Taser, which failed to stop the man, police said. A struggle ensued, before the officer and driver exchanged gunfire, police said.
The driver ran but continued to fire his gun in the officer’s direction, police said.
During the struggle, the officer suffered minor injuries to her hand, apparently during a fall, Putney said.
As the suspect crossed Wilkinson Boulevard, he tried to carjack several motorists, police said.
More officers arrived and eventually found the driver in nearby woods, Putney said.
The suspect was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but police said it does not appear he’d been shot.
As is standard with any officer-involved shooting, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether the officer followed policies and procedures.
Per department protocol, the officer will be placed on paid administrative leave. Police said they will release the officer’s name once her family is notified. Police will release the suspect’s name once charges are filed.
Police closed roads in the area, including part of Wilkinson Boulevard near Morehead Street, as they investigated the incident.
Police also closed the Interstate 277 Inner Loop where the highway turns into Wilkinson Boulevard (U.S. 74) eastbound, state highway officials said. That stretch of I-277 will remain closed until about 4 p.m., state highway officials said at 1:30 p.m. Wilkinson Boulevard also was still closed Friday afternoon as police continued to investigate.
The state encouraged people to use the Freedom Drive exit.
Traffic backed up from Freedom Drive to Morehead, and the Charlotte Fire Department warned motorists to expect significant delays.
The charter school Invest Collegiate was placed on lock down for 45 minutes during the incident, according to Observer news partner WBTV.
Police continued to search the area Friday afternoon for anyone who saw the encounter.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS (8477) and speak to a police detective, or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.