NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – From the hospital to the jail cell. Darius Hester was released from the hospital today. He has been recovering from a gunshot wound he received after being shot by a New Hanover County Sheriff's deputy last Friday.
Hester, 23, has been charged with Attempted First Degree Murder and Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Government Official.
According to an arrest warrant, Hester pointed his gun at Deputy Joshua Cranford and attempted to shoot the officer. Cranford fired his weapon, hitting Hester in the arm.
Deputy Cranford, 27, has been placed on administrative leave.
Around 10:45 Friday morning, Cranford was conducting a routine patrol when he came into contact with Hester near Rock Hill Road and Ruby Lane.
According to the warrant, Hester had a Luger semi-automatic in his waistband, pulled it out and pointed it at Cranford. After Cranford shot Hester, the suspect fled on foot and was apprehended by Cranford. Hester was later taken to a nearby hospital.
The SBI is investigating.
Cranford has worked for the sheriff's office since Jan. 2009.
One neighborhood resident believes he saw Hester seconds before the incident happened.
"After I saw the cops, I knew something was up," said Willard Earl. "Somebody had to call the cops. I was right there painting, and just saw the guy about 30 seconds ago, and 30 seconds after that, I heard the shots."
According to neighbors, Hester was on the way to his mothers house when the incident happened.
Nathaniel Josey, a neighbor, said he heard the shots go off. Later he found out a stray bullet from the shooting went through his truck door.
"Just to know that someone is coming out of the blue sky- they are in your neighborhood. They are shooting. You don't know what was going on," said Josey.
"It's going to be terrifying cause there is a possibility I've got a child, he wasn't there at the time, but he could have been, who's to know what could have happened."
Josey said the sheriff's office told him they would be in contact.
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