Police drop charges in cop shooting

Published 2:48 pm Monday, December 10, 2018

The man suspected of shooting at an Albemarle police officer has been arrested in Harnett County on unrelated charges.

Jeremiah Devon McDougald

Jeremiah Devon McDougald remains in a Harnett County jail after authorities there arrested him Nov. 28 on unrelated charges. All the charges in Stanly County have been dismissed at this time.

McDougald is facing a slew of charges in Harnett County, including possession of a firearm by a felon, resisting police, driving on a revoked license, fleeing to elude arrest, reckless driving and speeding. He is being held on a $120,000 secured bond, according to Harnett County Sheriff’s Office.

Although McDougald was first named as a suspect in the Nov. 11 shooting of a police officer, Albemarle police have since withdrawn those charges pending more evidence from the State Crime Lab.

“We have received information that contradicts what we found earlier,” said Capt. David Dulin. “We’re just trying to be fair about this. It’s best we don’t overreact at this time.”

There is reason to believe McDougald was not the one who shot at the officer as first thought, Dulin said.

The Albemarle shooting incident involved an unknown black male with dreadlocks popping through the sunroof of a Lexus traveling on the N.C. Highway 24-27 Bypass and opening fire with an assault rifle. A stray bullet wounded a bystander while three rounds hit a police cruiser pursuing the car that was connected to an earlier shooting on T.E. White Drive.

After shooting at the officer, the suspects fled in the Lexus heading east on N.C. 24-27 into Montgomery County. They eventually jumped from the vehicle, later determined to be stolen, when officers set up a roadblock in Moore County. They then fled on foot and alluded immediate capture, but not before deputies recovered firearms left both in the car and in a wooded area.

The suspects had been at large since fleeing on foot.

Since the shooting, Albemarle police have been inundated with information that caused investigators to reconsider charges at this time, Dulin said.