Charlotte, NC – A Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputy who was shot five times while conducting a traffic stop on Saturday was able to return fire, hitting his attacker despite his own injuries.
The incident began at approximately 4 p.m. on Feb. 19, when an unknown man flagged down Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Deputy Dijon Whyms and told him he was concerned about his unstable son, WJZY reported.
As they were speaking, the man pointed out a passing vehicle and told Deputy Whyms his son was the driver.
The deputy took off after the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop on Salome Church Road, according to The Charlotte Observer.
But as he was approaching the vehicle, the driver opened fire on him, hitting him three times in his upper body and twice in his lower body, WJZY reported.
Deputy Whyms immediately returned fire, striking his attacker.
The gunman, later identified as 23-year-old Aidan Bryant, fled the scene.
A Charlotte police officer rushed to the wounded deputy’s aid and helped get him transported to Atrium Main hospital, WJZY reported.
Deputy Whyms, a 20-year veteran of the MCSO, underwent surgery on Sunday and was released from the hospital the following day to continue his recovery at home.
His name is Dijon Whyms. He is a Deputy Sheriff in Mecklenburg County. Dijon was shot during a traffic stop. He is recovering from the injuries after surgery. We wish our Brother a full and speedy recovery.#NC #podcast #talkradio #radio #police #Sheriff #trooper #crime pic.twitter.com/w0yidzlZOA
— John Jay Wiley (@JohnWil21815218) February 21, 2022
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said watching Deputy Whyms leave the hospital on Sunday afternoon was an experience he won’t soon forget.
“It was very emotional, and words cannot express watching my deputy walk out of the hospital today after being there upon his arrival Saturday,” he told WBTV.
NEW: Arrest warrants for the man accused of shooting MCSO Deputy Dijon Whyms show he had multiple guns that were stolen from two North Carolina gun shops: Midsouth Guns and Shooters Express. Whyms (pictured here) was shot five times Saturday and walked out of the hospital today. pic.twitter.com/R5aJAsMnzS
— 𝕄𝕠𝕣𝕘𝕒𝕟 𝔽𝕣𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖𝕤 (@MorganFrancesTV) February 21, 2022
Sheriff McFadden praised first responders for the swift response that helped save the wounded deputy.
“Having been in this situation many times in my past career, it is more difficult to process as a leader,” Sheriff McFadden said in a statement to The Charlotte Observer. “I am grateful for MEDIC, Charlotte Fire Department, CMPD, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Atrium Security and especially grateful for Officer Topper, who administered a tourniquet to Deputy Whyms.”
“Officer Topper works for CMPD and was the first officer on the scene and rendered aid to my deputy,” Sheriff McFadden told reporters. “Today, I’m very proud to be a first responder. I’m very proud to be in law enforcement.”
Sheriff McFadden said he knows Deputy Whyms very well and that they have celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together in the past.
“It gave me great comfort seeing my brothers uniting to support the sheriff’s office during this difficult time,” he added.
Great News! Deputy D. Whyms is headed home from the hospital and expected to make a full recovery.
Thank you so much for the outpouring of support for Deputy Whyms and the entire MCSO family during this time. pic.twitter.com/nunKp3aVWz
— Meck Sheriff (@MeckSheriff) February 21, 2022
Bryant showed up at Mallard Creek Urgent Care suffering from a gunshot wound shortly after his attack on the deputy, WJZY reported.
He was subsequently transported to Atrium Main hospital, where he remained Tuesday.
Warrants for offenses of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of possession of a stolen firearm, and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer have been issued and will be served after he is released from the hospital, WJZY reported.
According to court documents, Bryant was in possession of multiple firearms that had been stolen from gun shops in North Carolina.
He also has an unrelated warrant out of Scotland County for possession of a stolen firearm and larceny of a firearm, according to WBTV.
Investigators said it is still unclear whether or not Bryant is the son of the man who flagged Deputy Whyms down, WJZY reported.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Sheriff McFadden said Deputy Whyms will likely be able to return to work in a couple of months, WBTV reported.