by: To contact the reporter, e-mail Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - A shootout with police officers in Rock Hill landed two officers and a suspect in the hospital Wednesday night.
Rock Hill police said members of the York County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit went to a house on Arlington Avenue with a search warrant at about 10 p.m. They had information drugs were in the house, and when they went in, police said 31-year-old Tymon James Wells fired at them.
Two officers were injured; 32-year-old William Reap, a four-year veteran of the Fort Mill Police Department and member of the drug unit, and 26-year-old Trista Baird, a Rock Hill police officer on the street crimes unit. She was assisting during the narcotics investigation Wednesday night.
Reap was shot in the upper left arm and Baird in the left wrist. She had surgery Thursday morning.
Reap fired back at Wells, hitting him in both legs. Wells was taken to a hospital and later to jail.
Wells has a lengthy arrest record, including prior weapons and drug charges. This time he faces 11 charges, including two counts of assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of crack, cocaine and marijuana.
Wells was brought into his bond hearing in a wheelchair. He sat wrapped in a blanket with his head down. Wells asked the judge why he was charged with shooting the officers. He claimed that they were hit by friendly fire, not by the .32-caliber revolver police found in the house.
Late Thursday, a spokeswoman for the State Law Enforcement Division in Columbia said she couldn't speak to that statement. SLED doesn't discuss details of pending investigations.
Neighbors on Arlington Avenue said they were afraid and didn't want to say anything about the shooting incident or the people involved.
Rock Hill NAACP President Melvin Poole came to the neighborhood hoping to talk to neighbors and police about the incident. He said in a case like this, the organization gets many calls.
"People are always concerned when there's a shooting, especially when police are involved. We want to make sure everything is on the up and up," he said.
Solicitor Kevin Brackett told reporters that will be his job. He would not comment on the case, but he will review the full report when SLED finishes its investigation.
Brackett said it was easy to play Monday morning quarterback about whether the drugs the officers found was worth their injuries.
"You always take precautions. You always assume the worst can happen," Brackett said. "These drugs that were found are drugs that won't be on the streets now."
Baird was outside the house when she was shot and never returned fire. She will remain on medical leave.
Reap will be on administrative duty once he returns from medical leave until the investigation is complete.
Wells was denied bond and is expected in court on March 30. He could ask for a preliminary hearing that would be held on March 1.
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