Police say a man who had a gun in the waistband of his pants wounded a Durham police officer during a struggle at the Durham County jail, after the man had been arrested for secret peeping early Monday.
A bullet grazed Officer R.S. Turner’s stomach, and he was treated at Duke University Hospital and released, police said.
Danny Lee McMillan, 44, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, carrying a concealed weapon, gun possession by a prisoner, discharging a gun inside city limits and secret peeping, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said.
Police say Turner had taken McMillan into a booking area of the jail and was removing handcuffs from him when McMillan reached for a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol in the rear waistband of his pants.
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Turner was trying to wrest the gun from McMillan’s hand when it went off, police said.
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jail, said the incident happened at 3:40 a.m.
The booking area is outside the jail’s secure area, and police are responsible for prisoners until after they are taken inside the secure area if they aren’t being released.
The shooting happened after Turner had driven his cruiser into the jail’s prisoner entrance off East Pettigrew Street, officials said.
Michael said McMillan’s arrest came about an hour after police had answered a call about a peeper on Chesden Drive in the Woodlake neighborhood of southern Durham. They found him on nearby Lake Village Drive, and Turner handcuffed him and put him in the cruiser, the police account said.
The sheriff’s office said one of the jail’s detention officers went to help Turner control the suspect. The area is covered by surveillance cameras, and that video was turned over to police to use in their investigation, sheriff’s spokeswoman Tamara Gibbs said.
Michael said the department’s Criminal Investigation Division was in charge of the case. A statement did not say whether the investigation would include whether McMillan was properly searched before being put into the patrol car.
In November 2013, 17-year-old Jesus Huerta was shot to death in the back seat of a police cruiser in the parking lot of police headquarters on West Chapel Hill Street.
Police said an officer who had arrested Huerta on a trespassing charge had missed a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol when searching him. Authorities said Huerta then shot himself despite being handcuffed.