Sheriff: Rutherford County deputy injured in shooting, search fo - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff: Rutherford County deputy injured in shooting, search for 'armed, dangerous' suspects ongoing

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Deputy shot, suspect at large (6/7/17 FOX Carolina) Deputy shot, suspect at large (6/7/17 FOX Carolina)
Deputy shot, suspect at large (6/7/17 FOX Carolina) Deputy shot, suspect at large (6/7/17 FOX Carolina)
Photo of the suspect's vehicle (Source: RCSO) Photo of the suspect's vehicle (Source: RCSO)
Photo of the suspect's vehicle (Source: RCSO) Photo of the suspect's vehicle (Source: RCSO)
ELLENBORO, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The Rutherford County sheriff said a deputy is recovering Wednesday morning after being injured in a shooting incident Tuesday night.

Sheriff Chris Francis said the incident began in Forest City when police there attempted to pull over a blue pickup truck just before 11 p.m. Francis was unsure of what prompted the traffic stop but believed it was due to a minor traffic offense.

The pickup truck did not stop and led officers on a chase through Forest City and into Ellenboro on Business Highway 74, where Rutherford County deputies took over pursuit.

Francis said someone in the truck fired shots at the pursuing deputies.

The gunshots woke neighbor, Michele Blanton who lives along US 74.

"About 11 o'clock, my husband and I sat straight up," described Blanton, "We heard the pop pop pop, about 6 shots."

One round hit the windshield of a deputy's patrol car. Francis said the bullet entered through the windshield and struck the head rest. The bullet likely fragmented and the deputy was hit in the face by the fragments, Francis said. 

"It was an extremely close call," Francis said.

Blanton said she was the deputy was okay and that no one else was injured in the chase.

The injuries were not life threatening and the deputy was treated and released from the hospital overnight.

The pursuit ended after the shooting but the pickup truck fled the scene.

PHOTOS: Rutherford Co. deputy injured in shooting

A large law enforcement presence was seen on Business Highway 74 in Ellenboro, North Carolina for hours Wednesday morning as investigators and forensics teams collected evidence at the site of the shooting. The injured deputy's patrol car was towed away around 3:30 a.m..

Francis asked for the public's help tracking down the suspect's blue pickup truck, which may be displaying NC license plate WVM-4712.

Francis said they believe at least three subjects were in the truck, including a female driver and a male shooter with gray hair.

The sheriff said those suspects should be considered "armed and dangerous."

Anyone with information about the truck or its occupants is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (828)-286-8477. 

Stay with FOX Carolina for updates on this developing story.

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