LINCOLNTON, NC - A police chase led to a minor car accident and shooting in Lincolnton on Saturday morning.
Around 4:30 a.m., Lincolnton Police Department officers attempted to stop a person driving a Humvee erratically with no lights on Main Street heading east and Salem Church Road.
After the officer initiated his blue lights and siren, the driver of the Humvee refused to stop. The officer was forced to call in to dispatch to say he would need to chase the suspect's car.
The suspect vehicle made an abrupt turn from Main Street onto Salem Church Road, striking a second police car that was also assisting with the chase.
The suspect driver then put the Humvee in reverse and backed up into the pursuing officer's car. At some point, the pursing officer fired his gun at the suspect vehicle. The suspect then drove away from the scene.
The Humvee ended up in a wooded area off Keener road. We spoke to the Morales-Benitez family, they tell FOX 46 Charlotte they woke up to the vehicle on their land.
"I used to live in charlotte, we never had anything like this in charlotte so to come over here to Lincolnton to have that happen it's a little different. kind of scary," Rosie Morales said.
Sources tell FOX 46 reporter Yolian Ortiz that the suspect driver broke into the National Guard Armory in Lincolnton and stole the Humvee. They believe the Humvee had a cable lock on the steering wheel, which caused the driver to drive uncontrollably on Main Street.
The Lincolnton Police Department is also investigating the breaking and entering into the National Guard Armory building that is related to the stolen Humvee.
A short time later, an individual flagged down a sheriff's deputy and told him he had picked up the person in the back of his vehicle who had been shot. That person was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Police cannot say at this time if the person shot was the person in the suspect's Humvee.
The second officer who was struck by the suspect's Humvee was transported to CHS Lincolnton Hospital where he was treated and released.
The officer involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave with pay while the investigation is ongoing as this is standard procedure anytime an officer is involved in a shooting incident.
Along with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations has also been called in to investigating the shooting. The North Carolina Highway Patrol is handling the collision.
Check back for more updates on this story.