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Attempted traffic stop leads to officer-involved shooting in Stanly County, authorities say

Police say the suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer.
Police say the suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer.
Police say the suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer.
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 4:45 AM EDT
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LOCUST, N.C. (WBTV) - A person was flown to the hospital after police say an attempted traffic stop in Stanly County ended with an officer shooting the driver.

Locust Police say this happened just before 9 p.m. Tuesday near Meadowcreek Village Drive and Whispering Hills Drive.

According to the report, a Locust patrol officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop of a silver convertible car driven by Michael Angelo Gales, 37, of Locust. The officer reported witnessing multiple traffic violations in the area of North Central Avenue and Bethel Church Road.

The Locust officer pursued the vehicle to the Whispering Hills subdivision near the intersection of Meadowcreek Village Drive and Whispering Hills Drive where Gales stopped and got out of his vehicle.

Police say there was an exchange of gunfire between Gales and the Locust officer, with Gales being struck. Fire and EMS were requested to respond, and emergency aid was rendered.

Gales was airlifted to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center and as of 9:3.0. am June 1, he was listed in critical condition.

The Locust officer was not struck by gunfire, officials said.

“Per our department policy regarding use of deadly/lethal force incidents, we requested the NC State Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent impartial outside agency investigation of the incident,” Locust Police Chief Jeff Shew wrote in an email. “Any more detailed information we are able to release about the specific incident, we will not do until the SBI completes their investigation.”

The involved officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the SBI’s investigation and the department’s administrative investigation. The identity of the involved officer will not be released at this time, according to police.

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