North Carolina man convicted of firearm charge in connection with chase, shots fired

Published 6:50 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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Cedrick Tyler Armstrong, 36, of Zebulon, was convicted on November 18, 2021 in federal court of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon following a two-day jury trial, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

An investigator with the Wendell Police Department conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle with two occupants on October 12, 2018 and Armstrong was the front seat passenger. “After a baggie from the glove box field-tested positive for cocaine, police tried to remove the driver and Armstrong from the vehicle,” stated the release. “A struggle ensued and the Investigator was able to secure one handcuff to the driver’s left arm before the vehicle fled the stop, dragging the Investigator approximately 25 feet.”

The investigator sustained injuries, but was able to pursue the vehicle along with other Wendell police officers, according to the release. The vehicle led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through multiple counties, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles. “Several minutes into the chase, approximately nine shots were fired from the passenger side of the vehicle at the lead pursuit officer, and the chase was terminated shortly thereafter for public and officer safety,” stated the release. “A search of the area where the shots were fired located a spent 9mm shell casing.”

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Armstrong and the driver avoided law enforcement for several hours but were located later that night at a residence on Beauty Avenue in Raleigh where they were arrested, according to the release.

“A subsequent search of the residence found a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine in the reservoir of the toilet. Forensic examination of the gun and a shell casing recovered from the area where the shots were fired confirmed that the gun found at the residence on Beauty Avenue fired that casing,” stated the release. “The handcuffs, a handcuff key, drugs, and the vehicle keys were also recovered from the residence on Beauty Avenue where the driver and Armstrong were apprehended. Additionally, Investigators executed a search warrant on the vehicle after it was recovered and found another 9mm round matching the same make and caliber of the ammunition found with the gun at Beauty Avenue and the shell casing recovered from the scene of the shooting. A review of Armstrong’s phone also recovered text messages in which he admitted to shooting at law enforcement.”

Armstrong faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and the driver is facing state charges.

Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker III made the announcement following the trial held before United States District Judge James C. Dever III. The Wendell Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), the Raleigh Police Department, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and the Zebulon Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dave Fitzgerald and Bryan Stephany prosecuted the case.