KING, N.C. (WGHP) —  The tight-knit community of King was rocked last night by the shooting of a police officer and the death of a suspect on Sunday morning.

Many of the neighborhood’s residents were asleep as shots rang back and forth between officers and the suspects that police say they attempted to pull over at around 12:40 a.m. this morning.

One King resident described the madness saying that she heard “two separate bursts of six-nine gunshots.” She initially thought that the gunfire was firecrackers.

The woman says that afterward, at around 1:00 a.m., police swarmed the street and she went to investigate what was happening.

She says that a police officer “shined a light in her face, told her to go inside, lock her doors and keep a weapon nearby if she had one.” The woman described the ordeal as “unsettling” and said that she had trouble falling asleep because of it.

She expressed that “nothing like this has happened in her quiet neighborhood,” and that she hopes the injured officer gets well soon.

The injured officer is out of surgery and recovering in the hospital.

Stokes County Sheriff Joey Lemons also released a statement on the events of Sunday morning on behalf of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office:

“Stokes County’s first responders had one of the most challenging days yesterday we have had in a long time involving multiple responses throughout the county. As your Sheriff, last night I got the call no Sheriff wants to get about an officer being shot in the line of duty. The King Police Department officer and part-time deputy was transported to the hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. We ask that today, as you enjoy your time with your family, that you join me in prayer for all the first responders. This request includes the responding firefighters, 911 communications staff, EMS workers, ER staff, and the officers who handled the various emergencies like the true professionals they are. We are thankful to our communities for supporting us, but please remember that those professionals are human and we humbly ask for your daily prayerful support for each and every one of these responders. What these men and women see or experience at times can take a mental toll on them. Tonight, our officers will once again put on the uniform and head out to do what they are trained to do, serve and protect. Why, because they believe in what they do and have a love for the people they serve. Thank you again and please pray with me for the officer’s full recovery, a protecting hand over my fellow law enforcement officers, and all the emergency services workers who serve daily.”

Michael Lane, a King City Councilman also expressed his support for King police stating:

“Please join me in praying for our King Police Department.”

Houle Strong, a Facebook group that supports Kernersville Police Officer Sean Houle, who was injured in the line of duty in February 2021, and his family, shared their thoughts:

“I’m going to protect the family’s privacy and not mention names until they’re ready for that to happen. I know those involved personally and am requesting prayer, please! We are in this boat all too often these days. Folks, these officers are trying to get bad people off the streets (not for their benefit, but for the community) the violence and lack of respect inflicting our nation and communities is unreal and should not be tolerated. Back the “thin blue line” (separates the good from worldly evil). Right, justice and the good WILL always prevail.”

The City of King issued the following statement:

“Early this morning, a City of King Police Officer was shot in the line of duty. Our prayers are with the officer’s family and with all of our officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect our City. Chief Boyette and his officers have been working together and with neighboring Departments to deal with this incident and its aftermath. We are grateful to all City departments, neighboring law enforcement agencies and the medical team for their response to last night’s incident. The City of King and the King Police Department will release further information at the appropriate time. We ask that all citizens join us in praying for the injured officer and our entire City of King family.”

Other law enforcement agencies across the state also shared their reactions.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement:

“Join us in praying for the King Police Officer shot in the line of duty this morning, as well as for the officer’s family, both blood and blue.”

The Winston-Salem Police Department also expressed:

“We’re sending our heartfelt prayers to the King Police Department after one of their officers was shot in the line of duty early this morning.”

This story is still developing.