UNC officer fires shots at hit-and-run driver who allegedly drove toward him, officials say

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Saturday, September 26, 2020
UNC officer fires at hit-and-run driver who allegedly drove toward him
Officials said a university police officer fired shots at a hit-and-run driver who struck a student and reportedly accelerated toward the officer while he was being apprehended.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The SBI is investigating after a UNC police officer fired shots at a hit-and-run suspect who allegedly drove toward him Friday night.

UNC officials said a student was struck by a car just after 9 p.m. at the intersection of South Columbia and McCauley Street. The student reported no injuries.

UNC police began searching for the hit-and-run driver and found a blue Jeep with no license plate traveling west on South Road.

The driver, a man in his mid-30s, refused to pull over for police and turned right onto South Columbia Road. He came to a stop behind a Chapel Hill Fire Battalion Chief vehicle in the road on North Columbia, which was responding to an unrelated gas leak.

A UNC officer approached the driver side window and saw the driver holding a machete knife. The officer told the driver to drop the weapon but the driver accelerated forward and hit the fire vehicle, backed up and began driving toward the officer.

The UNC officer then fired toward the vehicle to stop the driver from using it to harm him. Officials said the driver turned the vehicle and fled north.

The driver, who was not affiliated with the university, was apprehended by the Alamance County Sheriff's Department and North Carolina Highway Patrol after a second pursuit.

The driver had a graze wound on his lower left leg and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The SBI is investigating.

"I would like to extend my thanks to all of the officers involved, including our local partners, for assisting with the incident. We are all grateful that no one was seriously injured," said UNC Police Chief David Perry.