Police chief: Albemarle officer uninjured after shot at by shooter with ‘high-powered rifle’

(WSOC)

ALBEMARLE, N.C. – A police car was shot at by someone with a high-powered rifle in an Albemarle neighborhood Sunday afternoon, Albemarle Police Chief Danny Bowen told WSOC.

As an officer attempted a traffic stop, one of the occupants of a black Lexus stood up through the sunroof and started firing at the officer.

The patrol car was struck three times, including the windshield. The officer, who ran off the road and wrecked, was not injured.

“It’s very unusual for someone to blatantly and publicly fire at an officer,” Bowen said. “Apparently, they don’t have any regard for our life or anybody else in the public’s life.”

Police responded to a possible shooting on T.E. White Drive near Elizabeth Avenue around noon. Officers said they found an unoccupied 2002 Chevy truck with a bullet hole in the passenger side.

A short time later, police said the driver of the truck showed up but didn’t give any information about the shooting.

However, witnesses told police they saw someone in the Lexus shooting at the truck.

Officers located the car on Highway 24/27 near Taco Bell, and as soon as police turned on their blue lights, the shooter open fired.

“We are very fortunate, very thankful that the officer didn’t get struck, or even killed, because they were using a high-powered rifle, which is extremely dangerous,” Bowen said. “Handguns are dangerous, but rifles even more so. It was just a dangerous situation.”

Police said an innocent person behind the patrol car was grazed by a bullet.

The car was found in Moore County, 3 miles west of Carthage.

According to witnesses, the shooter was described as a black man with dreadlocks.

Moore County Sheriff Neil Godfrey said a shotgun was found inside the car and an AK-47 was located a short distance away.

The sheriff said deputies were setting up stop sticks when the occupants of the car saw it from a distance, pulled over and ran into the woods.

Godfrey said several agencies, including a highway patrol helicopter and bloodhounds, searched the area for two people suspected of being in the shooting.