Crime & Courts

Gaston County officer escapes injury when shots fired at him

A Gaston County police officer escaped injury Saturday morning when a man fired at least two shots at him during a domestic disturbance near Gastonia.

Police said they detained Earl William McMillan Jr., 45, without further incident in his home in the 200 block of Camp Rotary Road.

McMillan was taken to Caromont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia later Saturday for a mental health evaluation. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault on a female, assault by pointing a firearm, injury to real property, injury to personal property and violating a county ordinance for discharging a firearm.

His bail will be $1 million once he’s released from the hospital., Gaston County Assistant Police Chief J.D. Ramey said.

At 10:15 a.m., the Gaston County Police 911 Center received a call concerning a domestic disturbance at the home.

The caller said her son was threatening to kill her and his father, police said. A firearm discharged several times while the caller was on the line with 911, police said.

As the first officer arrived, McMillan came outside and fired shots at the officer, Ramey said.

The officer took cover and avoided the bullets. McMillan’s mother got out of the home without injury, while her husband was still inside.

The Gaston County Police Emergency Response Team then entered the home and McMillan gave up, Ramey said. McMillan’s father wasn’t injured.

Officers from the Cramerton Police Department who are on the response team also assisted, along with the State Highway Patrol, Crowders Mountain Fire and Rescue, and Gaston Emergency Medical Services.