Cameron, NC – 16-year-old Mario Alexander Garcia III was arrested following an hours-long manhunt after he shot Deputy James Eric Cook in the face and chest.
Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats told reporters that the incident started Saturday evening as Deputy Cook was searching for Garcia, who was reported missing on Friday.
The deputy was following a lead when he located Garcia.
Once the deputy contacted Garcia, they got into a struggle. At some point during the struggle, the teen pulled out a .45 caliber handgun and shot Deputy Cook in the face and chest.
Garcia fled, and Deputy Cook was transported to the hospital in stable condition.
Sheriff Coats said that the deputy’s vest saved his life. The deputy will still need to undergo multiple surgeries for his gunshot wounds.
Numerous agencies responded in the manhunt for Garcia, and the sheriff announced his capture at around 11 p.m.
The sheriff said that prior to the shooting, there was no indication that Garcia was armed or dangerous.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the deputy as he recovers from his injuries.