CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was shot by a 14-year-old accused of breaking into someone’s car Monday morning, authorities said.
In a news conference, CMPD Deputy Chief Coerte Voorhees said officers were called at around 7:30 a.m. to Winged Elm Court, off Albemarle Road in east Charlotte, because someone found a suspect breaking into their car. The caller also said the suspect had pointed a gun at someone.
Two divisions responded to the initial call, and police said the first officer on scene began chasing the suspect when they ran away.
Another officer arrived and began running after the suspect, eventually catching him. That’s when the teen suspect turned and fired a shot, hitting officer Elliot Whitley “in the upper body,” Voorhees said.
Whitley returned fire but did not hit anyone, Voorhees said. The suspect continued to run away. Another officer then arrested the 14-year-old and found a gun on him.
According to police, Whitley, a 10-year CMPD officer, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to be OK. The suspect was also taken to the hospital for evaluation.
“It is a bad day in Charlotte, or anywhere, when a 14-year-old possesses a gun and attempts to kill a police officer,” Voorhees said.
The suspect is facing charges for robbery and attempted murder of a police officer, Voorhees said.
“I implore parents, guardians -- know where your children are, know where they are at all times,” Voorhees said. He said while it was fortunate the officer wasn’t more seriously hurt, the 14-year-old should not have been breaking into cars and should not have had a gun.
(WATCH BELOW: CMPD Deputy Chief holds news conference after officer shot in east Charlotte)
Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the scene where several CMPD units could be seen at the Woodland Estates Apartments, along with shell casings scattered across the ground like marbles. Dozens of officers blocked off different areas of the apartment complex.
Voorhees said he expects the injured officer to be released from the hospital later Monday. The officer’s identity has not been released at this point.
Investigators did not know where the suspect got his gun, Voorhees said. Police also said they are not looking for any more suspects.
Several neighbors told Channel 9 they heard the gunshots.
“Our alarm was about to go off to start the day, and then all of a sudden we heard one gunshot followed by six or seven,” one neighbor said. “When I looked out the window, all I saw was 10 or 11 police officers in one area, on top of one individual.”
CMPD is handling the investigation because the shots Whitley fired did not hit anyone and therefore did not require the SBI to step in
As is standard procedure with any officer-involved shooting, CMPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were followed during the incident. The officer will be placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard policy whenever an officer fires a service weapon.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. The public can also leave information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or clicking here.
This is a developing story. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.
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