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Locust Police: Man exchanged gunfire with officer during attempted traffic stop

Police said emergency aid was rendered to the driver, who was airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

LOCUST, N.C. — An investigation is underway after an "officer-involved shooting" in Locust, North Carolina, the Locust Police Department confirms. On Wednesday, the department said the suspect in the attempted traffic stop fired at an officer.

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Locust Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop shortly before 8:45 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Meadowcreek Village Drive and Whispering Hills Drive. During the traffic stop, police said there was an "officer-involved shooting." 

In a news release, police chief Jeff B. Shew said officers tried pulling over 37-year-old Michael Angelo Gales after what they said were multiple traffic violations. A Locust officer tried to pull him over, and when Gales finally stopped, the department said he exited his silver convertible. That's when the department shots rang out, and Gales was hit. The officer, who is not identified, was not hit.

As of writing, Gales remains in critical condition at an area hospital.

Locust Police said that per department policy involving deadly force, the State Bureau of Investigation was contacted to conduct an investigation. The officer involved is also on paid administrative leave until the SBI's investigation is complete.

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