GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A man who was shot by police after allegedly hitting two officers with his car in Belmont Friday afternoon has been charged, authorities said.
Mount Holly Police Chief Don Roper said at around 3:30 p.m., officers received reports of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex of Abbey Court Apartments on Maple Circle.
Police said they attempted to make contact with the driver of the suspicious vehicle. They said while they were speaking with him, the driver reversed his vehicle, striking two officers.
Police said the driver then shifted the car into drive and accelerated in the direction of other officers.
Roper said that’s when officers drew their guns and shot at the driver. Officials said the driver, later identified as Omar De’Vone Jordan, 29, was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.
On Monday, police said Jordan was released from the hospital and taken to the Gaston County Jail. He has since been charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon/inflicting serious injury, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one count of injury to personal property. He has a $1 million bond.
The two officers were also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Officials said they have since been released.
“It’s just a wake up call to people. We need to be safe. Because what if a trajectory did go through the window and hit somebody and somebody did get hurt. Luckily that was not the case here but it brings us to be a little bit more aware of our surroundings even if someone was just sitting in the car,” Danielle Lendino told Channel 9.
At the scene, a four-door car could be seen with several bullet holes and broken glass.
“You hear the tire squeal. You hear one pop and then three pops,” a witness said.
On the scene of a police shooting in Mount Holly. Witnesses tell Ch 9 officers were checking on a person in this car.. when driver backed it up and drove towards an officer and that’s when they saw police open fire. Person taken to hospital. @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/bgrQZNGVtp— Genevieve Curtis (@GenevieveWSOC9) February 11, 2022
Roper said the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations will be handling the investigation. The Gaston County attorney general’s office will also be conducting an independent review of the shooting.
The Mount Holly Police Department’s internal affairs bureau said it will be conducting a separate but parallel investigation to ensure department policies and procedures were followed during the incident.
The two officers who fired their guns were identified as Officer J. Griffin and Officer L. Ruocco. Griffin has been with the department since October 2019 and Ruocco was hired in June 2021. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, per protocol.
“The State Bureau of Investigation will conduct a thorough, independent investigation to determine the circumstances concerning the incident. Please keep all of those involved in the incident in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Roper said.
No other details have been released at this point.
(WATCH BELOW: Gastonia police search for shooting suspect considered armed and dangerous)
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