ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County Sheriff James A. McVicker confirmed that a Bladen County deputy sheriff and an Elizabethtown Police Officer were involved in a shooting during a traffic stop in Elizabethtown early Saturday morning.
McVicker said the deputy initiated the traffic stop near the intersection of Popular Street and King Street at approximately 1 am after observing the driver run two traffic lights.
After being stopped the deputy learned the driver had an outstanding felony warrant for arrest for failing to appear on a Possession With Intent to Manufacture, Sell and Deliver Schedule VI Controlled Substance (Marijuana).
“The deputy had the driver step out of the vehicle and told him he was under arrest for the outstanding warrant. When he patted the driver down he located a small bag of a controlled substance,” said McVicker.
“At that point, a struggle ensued and the driver made it back to the door of his vehicle and retrieved a handgun. The deputy saw the weapon and told the Elizabethtown Officer who had just arrived, the driver had a gun. The driver then fired a shot at the Elizabethtown officer at which time both officers returned fire.”
McVicker said neither officer was hit during the exchange of gunfire. The driver was struck several times. He was transported to Bladen County Hospital and later moved to New Hanover Memorial Hospital in Wilmington where he underwent surgery early Saturday morning. The condition of the driver is not known at this time. Both officers were treated and released from the hospital.
“I have requested the SBI to investigate this shooting which is standard practice when there is an officer involved shooting,” said McVicker. “Both officers will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation. This again, is standard procedure in cases such as this.”