UPDATE 3:47 p.m. EDT: WSOC-TV reports that the officer who was shot is in fair condition at Carolinas Medical Center. The news station also reports he is a lieutenant who has been with the Cornelius Police Department for "several years." He was responding to a domestic disturbance call when he was shot in the stomach. His name has still not been released.
A police officer was shot in the stomach while responding to a call in Cornelius, North Carolina, on Saturday, local sources said. The officer was transported to Carolinas Medical Center and a suspect is in police custody, according to WSOC-TV. The Cornelius Police Department will release additional details as they come in, the department said.
The nature of the call and the circumstances surrounding the shooting are unclear. Photos are available via WSOC. Cornelius is a suburb of Charlotte with around 24,000 residents. Ninety-one percent of the town is white, another 5 percent are African-American, 1 percent Asian and the rest smaller minorities. The town has a relatively low crime rate compared to some of its Charlotte-area neighbors. Gastonia, a suburb west of Charlotte has the highest crime rate in the area, according to city-data.com, a site that tracks crime rates around the United States.
Crime peaked in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area between 2005-2008 but has steadily declined since then. There were 52 murders, 223 rapes, 1,798 robberies, 3,165 assaults and 7,761 burglaries in the area in 2012.
The shooting comes after a week of civil unrest in Baltimore over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died of a traumatic neck injury sustained while in custody of Baltimore Police on April 12. Police around the country have been asked to re-examine their policies following more than a dozen high-profile deadly encounters over the last year. About three hours away from Cornelius, 50-year-old Walter Scott was shot and killed by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer after a brief foot chase. The FBI, Justice Department and U.S. Attorney in South Carolina are investigating whether or not Scott's civil rights were violated in the encounter that led to his death.
â€” Kelvin Wylie (@KelvinWsoc9) May 2, 2015
Officer injured responding to a call. Medic is transporting to CMC Main. Will release additional details ASAP.
â€” Cornelius PD (@CorneliusPD) May 2, 2015
Just in from @CorneliusPD: Police say officer responding to a domestic call. Suspect is in custody. Officer being treated at the hospital.
— WSOCTV (@wsoctv) May 2, 2015