Crime

Gastonia Police investigate officer-involved shooting

A Gastonia police detective who had stopped into a convenience store Saturday night shot and seriously injured a convicted murderer who was stabbing a night-shift clerk, investigators said.

The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the QuikTrip gas station on Long Avenue, a 24-hour convenience store across the street from Gastonia Police headquarters – and a popular stop for on-duty officers, clerks at the store said.

Detective Jeff Wooten, wearing his police uniform, had just walked into the store at 310 E. Long Ave. when he saw a man attacking the store clerk with a knife, police said.

The clerk, Ryan Sherwood, was stabbed several times and suffered serious injuries.

Sherwood told WSOC-TV that the man began assaulting him without provocation. “He was clearly there to kill me,” he told the news station. “He was charging like a bull.”

Police said the attacker was Brady Alan Hines, 47, of Gastonia, who spent 15 years in prison after he was convicted in 1998 of killing his mother, Joan, in Weaverville, near Asheville, investigators said.

Hines, then 29, wrapped the 54-year-old woman’s body in a blanket and stuffed it into the trunk of her 1996 Volvo, according to TV news station WRAL. He was in Wake County visiting friends when authorities caught him.

On Saturday night, Wooten pulled Hines off Sherwood. He confronted Hines, who was still armed with a knife, before shooting the assailant. Hines was being treated at CaroMont Regional Medical Center. He had not been charged Sunday night.

Sherwood was “resting and recuperating” at his home on Sunday, said QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh. The stabbing and shooting were captured on video by the store’s surveillance cameras, Thornbrugh said, but the company only releases such video to police investigators.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the officer-involved shooting and will present its findings to the Gaston County District Attorney’s Office, police said.

The Gastonia Police Department Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation, police said.

Wooten, 51, is a veteran detective who has worked with the department since July 1988. He is assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division, police said.

He has been placed on paid administrative leave, while an administrative investigation is conducted. That’s standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting, police said.

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