UPDATE: Belmont police officer shot on New Year's Eve

UPDATE: Belmont police officer shot on New Year's Eve

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on December 31, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 4:10 PM

BELMONT, N.C. – Belmont police continue to investigate an officer-involved shooting.

The shooting happened New Year’s Eve within a gated community at the intersection of Lake Pointe Drive and Reflection Pointe Boulevard around 6:45 p.m., officials said.

The incident began as road rage and ended at the gates of Reflection Point.

"At this point officers are approaching and their train of thought is there is a suspect inside of this home with a gun who fired at another person," said Belmont Police Chief Charlie Franklin.

Suspect Brandon Watts, 21, did comply with officers, but police say his 24-year-old girlfriend Melissa Verner did not.

“She was just being very belligerent, would not respond to any commands by the officers.  They were telling her to get on the ground, show her hand," Franklin added.

Ironically, Verner was not in the car with Watts when the incident began.  She came out of a nearby house and allegedly tried to grab an officer’s 9MM rifle.

"At this point I feel like it's speculation that the officer, as they went to the ground, either hit a piece of his equipment (or) one of them got hands on the gun to discharge."

Verner was hit in the leg by bullet fragments as was officer Randy Berry, a 34-year-old who has been with the department for two-and-a-half years.

"He's doing good.  He's at home resting and recovering,” Franklin noted.

The road rage call that started the incident might not have involved a gun at all, police said.

"At this point I would say I feel like he was unarmed.  I feel like it could have been a firecracker.  Obviously when a firecracker goes off you will see the flash and the bang."

No one has been charged as on Tuesday, but Verner could faces several charges, including resisting arrest.

 

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