Tarboro officer on leave after gun goes off, hits man

Published 9:53 am Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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TARBORO (AP) — A North Carolina police officer has been placed on administrative leave after his gun went off and wounded a motorist who drove off from a traffic checkpoint and led the officer on a chase, authorities said.

Tarboro police said in a news release that the motorist drove off from the checkpoint on Sunday morning after the unidentified officer smelled alcohol and marijuana in the car and asked the motorist about it. The news release said that during the ensuing car chase, the motorist hit another car, then got out of his car and ran.

When the officer caught the motorist and tried to take him into custody, his gun went off, according to the news release. The motorist suffered a non-life-threatening injury, police said, adding that the driver of the car that was struck was treated at a local hospital and released.

Police filed multiple charges against the driver, who was released on an unsecured $10,000 bond pending a court appearance. It’s not known if he has an attorney.

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident, which is standard after an officer’s weapon is fired.