Man shot by Rocky Mount police facing numerous charges; Officers involved on administrative leave

WTVD logo
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Rocky Mount man shot by police; Officers on administrative leave
A police officer in Rocky Mount opened fire while investigating a stolen car Thursday afternoon, police said.

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WTVD) -- A police officer in Rocky Mount exchanged gunfire with a suspect in a stolen car investigation Thursday afternoon.

The shooting happened around 1:45 p.m. near the Oakwood Shopping Center in the 1600 block of Eastern Avenue just southeast of downtown.

During a news conference Friday, Rocky Mount police chief Robert Hassell said two officers were investigating a stolen car case when the shooting happened.

Chief Hassell said the suspect in the stolen car investigation, Antonio Wilkins Sr., took off running and officers caught up with him behind the shopping center. That's when Wilkins Sr. pulled a gun and started shooting at officers, Hassell said.

The second officer returned fire hitting Wilkins in the leg. Wilkins was taken to the hospital where he remains.

A bullet fired by Wilkins, hit one of the officer's gun holster, according to Chief Hassell.

The two officers involved were not injured. Both have been placed on administrative leave.

Chief Hassell identified the officers as: Sgt C. Joyner, a 15-year veteran who is over the Major Crimes unit in the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and Corporal Hussey, also a 15-year veteran who is over Patrol Services.

Wilkins is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill.

Chief Hassell said Wilkins will be formally charged after his release from the hospital.

Rocky Mount officers were wearing bodycams that captured the incident. Chief Hassell said video has been turned over to the NC SBI.

The State Bureau of Investigation is now in charge of the case, as is standard protocol in the state when law enforcement officers discharge their weapons.

Thursday night after the incident, Marjorie Tucker who has lived in her home down the street on Linden Avenue for 20 years said she heard two shots at the time of the shooting.

"When I heard the two shots and it was so close, I went what in the world," she said. "You couldn't miss it because the shots were loud...because they were so close."

Tucker said she saw police driving quickly down the street before she looked around the corner.

"They had blocked off the street and everything like that," she said.

Check crime across the Triangle with this interactive tool