Wilmington police charge suspected drug dealer shot by deputy

Wilmington police release identity of suspected drug dealer shot by deputy

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A deputy with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office shot an alleged drug dealer near the Burger King on Third Street in Wilmington Thursday afternoon, according to Sheriff Ed McMahon.

On Friday, the Wilmington Police Department — which is conducting the criminal investigation in the case — said 22-year-old Rodney Donnell Hansley Jr. was the person shot. Hansley is charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver schedule 1 and 2 drugs and maintaining a vehicle for the distribution and sale of drugs.

Hansley has been released from New Hanover Regional Medical Center and was transported to the New Hanover County Jail early Friday evening.

Rodney Donnell Hansley Jr.
Rodney Donnell Hansley Jr. (Source: N.C. Department of Public Safety)

According to the WPD news release and NHC Sheriff Ed McMahon, Detective M.H. Bowie with the NHC Sheriff’s Office was trying to detain Hansley during a drug investigation when the shooting occurred. McMahon said Bowie was “forced” to shoot and injure the suspect due to the suspect’s actions.

“Thank the Lord our detective is OK and the heroin dealer has been transported to the hospital,” McMahon said in a brief news conference Thursday afternoon. McMahon also did not say whether the suspect was armed or what led up to the shooting.

When pressed at the Thursday news conference, McMahon declined to provide further details of the incident including why a car appeared to be wedged under a tractor-trailer and roped off with caution tape in the restaurant’s parking lot.

“It would be inappropriate for me to talk about anything of what you’re seeing there,” McMahon said.

A Burger King employee was outside when everything happened. The employee didn’t want to be identified.

“One car came out of nowhere," the worker said. "I don’t know what direction it came from but it struck the vehicle that we used to stock items in the restaurant.”

He witnessed the moments that led to the officer shooting the suspected heroin dealer.

“There was a whole lot of commotion," the employee said. "The police tried to deescalate the situation by telling him to stop and put his hands up.”

The detective has been placed on administrative leave pending the result of the investigation. The State Bureau of Investigation will investigate Bowie’s actions during the incident.

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