A North Carolina police officer was shot and dragged a quarter mile by a man who tried to speed away from an early morning traffic stop Jan. 4, Winston-Salem police said.
Neither the officer, 27-year-old Nicholas Wayne Powell, nor the suspect, a Raleigh man named Gary G. Lynn, 26, were seriously injured, Winston-Salem Police Chief Barry Rountree said during a press conference on Jan. 4.
Rountree said the incident occurred after Officer Adam Gardner stopped Lynn's Nissan Sentra for speeding a few minutes before 2 a.m. in Winston-Salem, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
Gardner noticed there were three men in the car and called for backup. Powell was among the officers who responded, and the officers asked the men to step out of the car after Gardner said he smelled marijuana.
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The men complied, but Lynn reportedly dashed back to the Sentra and hopped in the driver's seat as Powell and Gardner rushed to stop him. Powell was allegedly hanging onto the car when Lynn hit the gas, and Lynn dragged the officer for a quarter mile until he stopped the car.
That's when Lynn pulled a handgun and fired "multiple" shots at Powell, hitting him several times, reports the Winston-Salem Journal. Lynn also reportedly shot himself during the ensuing struggle. No officers fired their guns during the incident, the Camel City Dispatch notes.
Lynn is a convicted felon who was not legally allowed to carry a gun, the newspaper reports. The Raleigh man has previous convictions for robbery and weapons possession.
Rountree said he saw Powell at the hospital but had not interviewed him. Powell was conscious, able to speak and with his family, according to the Camel City Dispatch. Although Rountree did not offer details about the injuries to his officer or Lynn, he said neither man had life-threatening injuries.
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Lynn and his two passengers hadn't been charged as of late morning on Jan. 4, and Rountree said detectives were still sorting out the specifics of the incident before settling on charges to file. State police were assisting Winston-Salem cops with the investigation.
The chief acknowledged that video of the chase and shooting exists from Powell's body camera, but video won't be released because of the ongoing investigation.