WECT crews forced to the ground while WPD investigate reports of shots fired

RAW: Police respond to reports of shots fired
Our crews on the ground near 10th and Dock Street after gun shots heard following crash (Source: WECT)
Our crews on the ground near 10th and Dock Street after gun shots heard following crash (Source: WECT)
A stolen car ran a red light at Tenth and Market streets, hit another car, then flipped over before hitting the Theater Now building. (Source: WECT)
A stolen car ran a red light at Tenth and Market streets, hit another car, then flipped over before hitting the Theater Now building. (Source: WECT)
The woman driving the stolen vehicle was thrown from the vehicle and taken to the hospital for treatment. (Source: WECT)
The woman driving the stolen vehicle was thrown from the vehicle and taken to the hospital for treatment. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Shot Spotter picked up an alert of gunshots fired in the area of Tenth and Orange streets approximately one hour after a crash happened nearby.

Crews from WECT were responding to the crash when the shots were fired. Officers closed Tenth Street between Market and Dock while they investigated the area.

WECT crews said police had their guns drawn and told them to get down on the ground.  After being locked down for about 30 minutes, they were able to safely leave the area.

WECT News Operation Manager Gabe Ross said they were just talking when all of a sudden they heard a "pop, pop, pop!"

"[It] almost sounded like fireworks, and from there I heard an officer yell, 'Get down!' so we both just immediately laid flat on our stomachs and were probably there for a good 20 minutes," Ross recalled.

Ross has seen reporters in the field during similar situations, but this was his first experience.

"This is the first time that it's happened to ME - out in the field and that shots have been fired, and I have to say that it's a very scary experience and not something I soon want to re-live," Ross said.

Police were in an area nearby investigating a crash unrelated to the shooting that happened around 1:30 a.m. at the intersection of Tenth and Dock streets.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, a person living in the 600 block of N. 30th St. saw 28-year-old Lateshia Wallace, a neighbor, walking around the neighborhood clicking a set of car keys.

The person said Wallace eventually unlocked a car that was not her own, and attempted to warn the neighbor who owned the vehicle.

Both neighbors attempted to stop Wallace, but were unsuccessful. It is not clear how she got the keys at this time.

A 'be on the lookout' was put out for the vehicle, described as a tan 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe, which officers located in the area of 10th and Walnut St.

Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Wallace drove off, and a chase ensued. Officers called off the chase due to safety concerns, which included 50+ mph speeds.

Wallace continued south on 10th St., and reportedly ran a red light at 10th and Market streets, where she struck another vehicle. She then continued on 10th St., where she struck two poles, flipped the vehicle and struck the Theatre Now building at 10th and Dock streets.

Wallace was ejected from the vehicle during the crash, and landed on a brick patio wall. She was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries.

Police said Wallace will be charged with auto larceny, felony speeding to elude arrest and driving while impaired after she is released from the hospital.

The driver of the vehicle she hit is okay.

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