‘Everybody was running’: Officer, armed suspect shot at Hickory bar, department says

HICKORY, N.C. — A police officer and an armed suspect were shot Sunday at a bar, the Hickory Police Department said in a news release.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to multiple gunshots coming from the area of the Gateway Pub & Grill. The bar is on Highway 70 Southwest in Hickory.

At the scene, officers found an armed suspect and tried to take him into custody. While they were trying to detain him, a second armed suspect started shooting at officers, police said.

One officer was shot twice. An assisting officer returned the gunfire, hitting one of the armed suspects, police said. They didn’t specify which of the suspects was shot.

The officer who was shot was taken to a local hospital. They are expected to recover for their injuries, the Hickory Police Department said.

The suspect who was shot was flown to a Charlotte hospital, where they remain in critical condition.

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty was there Sunday morning and could see officers investigating in the parking lot. Dozens of evidence markers had been laid out.

Patrons told Faherty that dozens of people were at the bar around closing time when someone began firing a gun out in the parking lot.

“It was around closing time, everybody was running in the building,” a patron said, “it was like pandemonium, you know it was scary. what happened after that? they were telling us to get down and take cover.”

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting and the officer who shot the suspect has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome.

Hickory police are investigating the initial shooting at the bar.

Veteran crime reporter, Glenn Counts, was able to catch up with the suspect’s mother, who told us on the phone she believes the police have the wrong man.

“Not true not true nothing from my son I don’t know who would have returned fire but I can tell you not from my son, the crowd was very adamant the crowd was shouting to the officers that they shot the wrong person,” she said.

The suspect’s mother did not want to use her name.

Counts reached out to Hickory’s police chief who disagrees with the mother’s claims and said the suspect was armed with a 45-caliber handgun.

The chief also said they are still investigating the cause of the incident that led to so many shots being fired.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-261-2600.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Police at apparent standoff at Gastonia apartments)

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