ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A man is facing felony assault charges after a drive-by shooting at deputies attempting to make an arrest, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, RCSO deputies were completing the arrest of a 17-year-old suspect accused of several home break-ins around Highway 52 with the assistance of the Rockwell Police Department, NC Highway Patrol and the Rockwell Rural Fire Department. SHP helicopters and RRFD drones were used to find the suspect.

Deputies say they remained on the scene alongside Rockwell firefighters to complete the arrest when a passerby fired numerous gunshots at them.

The passerby, later identified as Michael Anthony Brown, 22, was allegedly driving on Gold Knob Road in a red Honda when he fired five-to-six rounds from a 9mm pistol at deputies on Upper Palm Road.

The intersection of Gold Knob Road and Upper Palm Road (Google Maps)

Brown then drove away from the scene, two firefighters who witnessed the shooting called out Brown’s red Honda to law enforcement who gave chase down Upper Palm Road before losing sight of him near Sides Road.

A combined search effort between Rowan County Patrol Deputies, the RCSO Crime Reduction Unit and the Rockwell Police Department then ensued to find Brown’s red Honda.

A CRU master deputy spotted Brown driving on Sides Road towards Highway 52 and pulled him over. Backup arrived and Brown was then taken into custody without incident.

Brown was wearing an empty leather pistol holster at the time of his arrest. He told deputies that he was shooting at the ground and not at law enforcement as he was driving down Gold Knob Road.

Upon a search of Brown’s red Honda, two firearms were found alongside numerous empty and live rounds throughout the vehicle.

He is charged with the following:

  • Four counts of felony assault on law enforcement with a firearm

The Rowan County Magistrate gave Brown a $250,000 secured bond.

The investigation is still active and ongoing. The RCSO says that additional charges may still be to come.