Charlotte, NC – A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was hospitalized Monday morning after being shot by a 14-year-old gunman, according to police.
The incident occurred as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) officer was responding to a report of a multiple vehicle break-ins in the 6100-block of Winged Elm Court near the Woodland Estates Apartment Homes at approximately 7:20 a.m. on Dec. 27, WBTV reported.
Police said the caller also informed them that the suspect was seen pointing a gun at a resident, according to the news outlet.
Officers arrived at the scene and began chasing after the gunman, who then allegedly opened fire on them, WBTV reported.
One officer was shot in the upper body during the attack, according to police.
At least one officer returned fire before taking the shooter into custody, WBTV reported.
The suspect was not hit by their gunfire, according to police.
The unidentified wounded officer was rushed to Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, where his injuries were determined to be non-life threatening, WCNC reported.
The officer was expected to be released from the hospital later on Monday, according to WSOC.
Police said the unnamed gunman is a 14-year-old male.
He has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer and robbery, WCNC reported.
“It is a bad day in Charlotte – or anywhere – when a 14-year-old possesses a gun and tries to kill a police officer,” CMPD Deputy Chief Coerte Voorhees told reporters. “I employ parents and guardians: Know where your children are at all times.”
“We are fortunate today this wasn’t more serious both for the police, our officer, and the suspect and the victim himself,” Deputy Chief Voorhees said.
The officer who returned fire during the attack has been placed on paid administrative leave while the CMPD conducts an internal investigation into the incident, as per protocol, WCNC reported.
Deputy Chief Voorhees said investigators are still working to figure out how the teen gained possession of the firearm he used during the attack.
He noted the weapon may have been stolen during one of the vehicle break-ins.
“A lot of folks get guns from unsecured vehicles or vehicles that have unsecured weapons in it,” the deputy chief added. “So, if you’re a gun owner, be responsible.”