North Carolina police officer placed on leave after gun goes off, wounding driver who fled checkpoint

Published 12:48 pm Monday, July 5, 2021

A North Carolina police officer has been placed on administrative leave after his gun went off and wounded a motorist who fled from a traffic checkpoint and led officers on a chase, authorities said.

Tarboro police said in a news release that the motorist fled 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 identified as Christopher Tervon Harris, 30. He was charged with felony speeding to elude arrest, possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine, resist/delay/obstruct a public officer and careless and reckless driving. He 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. The officer was not identified in the release.

The news release also stated the occupant of the second vehicle involved in the collision was treated and released from the hospital.

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