Durham police officer was shot in leg, his gun and badge still missing

Durham officer shot in leg during altercation with motorist Tuesday

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comDecember 19, 2012 

Durham police officer Kelly A. Stewart

COURTESY OF DURHAM POLICE

— Police say they are searching for the service weapon and badge that belong to the officer who was shot Tuesday in North Durham after making a traffic stop.

Officer Kelly A. Stewart suffered a gunshot wound to the leg after getting into an altercation with a motorist in the parking lot of Forest Pointe Apartments at 1619 Forest Road. Stewart, 26, is recovering from his injuries, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said Wednesday.

A young woman who called 911 told a dispatcher that she heard a “pop” sound. When she looked out of the window of her home she saw a man on the ground “holding his leg” and “rolling around,” according to a copy of the 911 recording made public Wednesday.

The woman said she saw another man jump into a “red car that backed up really fast, came forward and took off down the road.”

Michael would not provide details about the shooting or comment on whether Stewart was shot with his own firearm, or whether the gunshot wound was accidentally self-inflicted.

Stewart joined the Durham Police Department in July 2007 and is assigned to the Special Operations Division.

Late Tuesday, police charged Carlos Antonio Riley Jr., 21, of Durham with assault on a law enforcement officer causing serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Riley is being held in the Durham County jail, his bail set at $1 million, Michael said.

Two other men who were arrested with Riley were released and not charged.

The shooting was reported at 10:20 a.m. Michael said Stewart got into a “struggle” with the motorist, who was driving a burgundy Nissan 300Z. Stewart was wounded during the ensuing struggle and the suspect drove away in the car.

Investigators found the vehicle a short time later where it had been abandoned in the parking lot of an apartment complex at 1336 New Castle Road. A heavily-armed Strategic Enforcement Team was brought in and two nearby apartment buildings were evacuated.

Nearly three hours after Stewart was struck by gunfire, police received information that the suspect was at a home in the 1700 block of Rosetta Drive, nearly four miles away. Riley was taken into custody at the residence without incident.

Investigators say Stewart’s .45-caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun and police badge were stolen. Investigators obtained warrants to search two vehicles, an apartment on New Castle Road and a house on Rosetta Drive, but did not find the officer’s weapon or badge.

The Durham Police Department is seeking information that would lead to the recovery of the gun and badge. Crime Stoppers, 919-683-1200, offers rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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