Police detained five people on Thursday and charged two with attempted murder after reports of gunfire and a chase involving two cars that ended at Town Hall in downtown Cary.
No one was reported injured in the incident, which police said they suspected was connected to a drug deal.
The two charged are Chase Austin McKinley, 18, of 7550 Horizon Lane in Raleigh, and Nicholas Scott Jenkins, 21, of 8416 Sawyer Drive in Raleigh, are accused of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
The charges carry maximum penalties of about 33 years in jail, according to police. McKinley and Jenkins were being held at the Wake County Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bail each and were due in court Friday.
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The incident began just before 2:30 p.m., when the town’s emergency dispatch center began receiving reports of gunfire between a black four-door passenger car and a primer-gray passenger car at the intersection of West Chatham Street and Parkthrough Drive, according to Capt. Don Hamilton of the Cary Police Department.
Some callers reported that people were firing guns from both cars, but police have located only one handgun among the five people subsequently detained, he said.
Danny Poyner Jr., a minister at Cary’s First Baptist Church, said he heard the beginning of the apparent altercation from his desk at the church, less than a quarter-mile away.
“I heard the first shot, and I just thought it was a car incident,” Poyner said. “It didn’t even occur to me that it was a gun until I heard the helicopters overhead.”
Poyner said he heard only a single shot.
The two vehicles then drove erratically across downtown in an apparent chase, continuing roughly half a mile to Town Hall, Hamilton said.
Within minutes, the cars had stopped at the Town Hall campus, which also houses the town’s police headquarters. Police officers pulled over the black car, which stopped voluntarily, and took four people into custody. A single person leaped from the gray car near the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, not far from the police building, and also was taken into custody, Hamilton said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what role McKinley and Jenkins may have played in the incident.
“At this point, we believe the incident is related to a drug deal,” Capt. Randall Rhyne said in a written statement.
The town hall was locked down for about 10 minutes around 2:30 p.m. Northwoods and Kingswood elementary schools were also briefly locked down, according to the Wake County Public School System.
Although the occupants of the cars were detained, they had not been charged with a crime as of late Thursday afternoon, the town said in a written release. Their names were not released, but at least one of them lives in Cary, Hamilton said.