SHELBY, NC (WBTV) - Police in Shelby need your help finding a person who fired their rifle off at officers early Monday morning. As the hunt for the culprit continues, this case is affecting some officers on the emotional side as its been almost two years since one of their own was shot and killed in the line of duty.
No officers were hurt in Monday's shooting and neither was the suspect. Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford says his officers were just in the middle of a simple car stop that could have ended in the most tragic way.
"We don't have a lot of officer involved shootings," says Chief Ledfor.
But when it does happen, it can take an emotional toll on the men and women in blue. It's been almost two years since Shelby Police Officer Tim Brackeen was shot while he attempted to serve a warrant. He died two days later at the hospital.
The hurt and pain from that tragedy is always on the minds of the officers who worked with Brackeen and their wounds have been reopened after Monday's officer involved shooting.
"It's obviously going to bring back the things that have happened. So some people are going to relive that and go back through it," the chief added.
A group of officers were shot at while looking for suspects in a shooting that happened near Lincoln street. A man there had been shot in the leg.
As officers went down Suttle street pursuing a silver Camry they believed was involved, three people inside the Camry jumped out and that's when one of them started shooting a rifle right at officers.
Some folks who live along Suttle Street are surprised this happened in their neighborhood and believe people are starting to chose guns as a way to escape problems, instead of handling them head on.
"It's pretty quiet on this street, but last night I heard three of four shots," said Shelby resident Roger Ford.
Renee Ford, Roger's wife, said "It's not surprising...they'd rather shoot it out."
Chief Ledford says that notion is completely absurd.
"If that's what it is, that's ridiculous. It just takes it to a whole new level when you turn that weapon on an officer."
Police were able to recover the rifle used in the shooting against police and found another gun that was on the ground nearby. They're hoping to fingerprints on both to help them in the case.