A Raleigh police officer was undergoing surgery Wednesday night after being shot several times while trying to apprehend a suspect, authorities said.
The officer, identified as C.D. Ainsworth, was shot on Western Boulevard, near Schaub Drive, police said in a statement late Wednesday.
One suspect was taken into custody, police said, but authorities continued to search late into the night for a second suspect. ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner, reported that the second suspect had been hiding in a shed and was taken into custody.
“As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for the officer, the family and the Raleigh Police Department,” the statement said. “We appreciate all the thoughts, prayers and well-wishes.”
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Wednesday marked Law Enforcement Appreciation Day across the country. Many law enforcement officials gathered Wednesday at WakeMed, where the officer was being treated.
The Raleigh Professional Fire Fighters Association said on its Facebook page Wednesday night that the officer was in critical condition.
Part of Interstate 440 was closed Wednesday evening, and so were many neighborhood streets as police searched for the second suspect.
Natalie Capp sat in her car on Driftwood Drive for over an hour, waiting to go home to her 18-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Deese.
Deese was home alone when she heard multiple gunshots, and then police sirens. Deese said she eventually moved from the living room to a bedroom and boarded up the door.
“I have a lot of anxiety right now, but I am managing,” she said over the phone.
Some neighbors abandoned their vehicles and walked home as helicopters circled above. But Capp didn’t want to risk it.
“I’m freaked out and I want to walk but I don’t,” she said. “Someone might grab me and hold me hostage.”
Brian Lewis, a lobbyist for the Raleigh Police Protective Association, told The News & Observer on Wednesday night that he did not yet know the identity of the officer who was shot.
“I don’t want it to be anyone,” he said.
Lewis said officer-involved shootings, whether an officer or a suspect is shot, are complicated.
“This is a tough time to be a police officer,” he said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for additional details.