A 16-year-old boy faces charges after police said he shot a Cornelius police lieutenant in the stomach while the officer was responding to a domestic call on Saturday.
Police said Grayson Ferrell is in custody and charges are pending.
Shortly after police arrived, the officers came under fire from a suspect and Lt. James Quattlebaum was struck in the abdomen area, police said.
Another officer returned fire, and police said they believe the suspect was hit at least once. The suspect was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously injured, police said.
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The shooting happened about 11:40 a.m. at a home in the 19400 block of Coachman’s Trace, off Washam Potts Road.
The officer was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Police said late Saturday that Quattlebaum was doing well and expected to recover fully.
“He wishes to express his appreciation for all the outpouring of support,” the department said in a news release.
At a news conference earlier Saturday, Cornelius Police Chief Bence Hoyle said Quattlebaum “was alert and conscious, so again we’ve got good reason to be optimistic.”
Hoyle described Quattlebaum as a senior officer who was working as a shift commander on Saturday.
Hoyle said a call about a domestic disturbance at the house came in shortly before noon. A single mother, her 16-year-old son and the son’s girlfriend were at the house, he said.
Police have not said what they believe led to the shooting, although some details emerged from interviews with neighbors and friends.
Matthew Aron, 17, a friend of Grayson Ferrell, said his friend’s father had come to the house. The father and son had gotten into an argument, Aron said.
A neighbor, John Roeder, said he saw the 16-year-old yelling at his sister and punching the sister’s car window as she backed out of the driveway Saturday morning.
Officers soon arrived, Roeder said, and he heard four or five gunshots.
Roeder said he couldn’t tell whether the officer was inside the home when he was shot, but he later saw the officer sitting outside and conscious before he was taken to the hospital.
The 16-year-old was questioned at the Cornelius Police Department, and the girlfriend was questioned at the Huntersville Police Department, Hoyle said.
Roeder said the 16-year-old “was just yelling and screaming at the officers” as they led him in handcuffs to a police car. “I want your badge numbers,” he heard the 16-year-old yell at the officers.
Cornelius police said the investigation into the shooting continues, and the department has asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to take charge of it.
Aron and his mother, Stefanie Aron, said the 16-year-old had recently dropped out of Hough High, where he was a junior, and had begun taking classes at Central Piedmont Community College.
April Bethea contributed.