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'It is a bad day in Charlotte when a 14-year-old possesses a gun and tries to kill a police officer'

The officer was taken to Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center, police said. His injuries aren't considered life-threatening.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A 14-year-old is being charged with the attempted murder of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer after allegedly shooting the officer Monday morning. The officer was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The teenager, who has not been identified publicly, is believed to have been breaking into cars in the 6100 block of Winged Elm Court when they allegedly pointed the gun at someone who saw them, CMPD Deputy Chief Coerte Voorhees explained. That other person, who was not injured, called the police.

Responding officers located the teenager in the east Charlotte apartment complex. The suspect ran from officers, Voorhees explained. As the suspect was running, the teenager is accused of firing shots at the pursuing officers. One of the officers was struck by a bullet, according to Voorhees. Officers returned fire before apprehending the suspect, police said.

CMPD identified the officer as Elliot Whitley on Wednesday, Jan. 19. 

The officer was transported to Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center hospital for evaluation.

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The suspect was not injured. The teen is being charged with robbery and the attempted murder of the officer.

"It is a bad day in Charlotte - or anywhere - when a 14-year-old possesses a gun and tries to kill a police officer," Voorhees said. "I employ parents and guardians: Know where your children are at all times."

As is standard procedure anytime an officer discharges a weapon, CMPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting a separate investigation into the officer's deployment of a weapon to determine where the officers followed CMPD policies and procedures. The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave. 

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Since the officers did not shoot anyone, North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigations is not conducting their own investigation into the officer's actions, as has been seen in previous incidents when an officer shot someone, Voorhees explained.

According to CMPD's crime map, car break-ins are not uncommon in Charlotte, with an average of 87 a month between July and November. Charlotte saw a spike in November with 103 break-ins. CMPD is now urging people to be on the alert -- especially as unsecured vehicles could provide access to firearms that haven't been properly secured.

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