One injured in officer-involved shooting near Gastonia restaurant

SBI: Man with gun shot by officer at Gaston Co. restaurant

GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - One person was injured in an officer-involved shooting near a Buffalo Wild Wings in Gastonia Tuesday night, officials say.

The incident happened near the Buffalo Wild Wings off Cox Road.

Police say they were called to the restaurant in reference to a “subject with a weapon.” The suspect, 22-year-old James Matthew Roberts, Jr., was shot by Gastonia Police Officer Maurice Taylor III and is receiving medical treatment. Officer Taylor was not hurt.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene Tuesday night and officers closed Gaston Mall Drive at Cox Road.

A person who appeared to be inside the restaurant tweeted a picture in replay to a WBTV reporter Tuesday night.

A man named Keith Collins tells WBTV he came face-to-face with Roberts when he walked outside of the restaurant and into the parking lot. He saw him sitting in his car with the headlights on.

""He sees me, he takes the gun, sticks it in his mouth, and I just start screaming don’t shoot himself, don’t shoot himself, don’t shoot himself," Collins said.

He says he ran into the restaurant to tell someone.

“All the staff there barricaded the doors and wouldn’t let anyone in or out," customer Jacob Jones said.

People inside are thankful for the staff's quick action.

“They were standing in front of two glass pane doors and a bullet could have gone through those," Jones said.

While Collins was inside, his son was hiding outside.

He says the man tried to open the doors to the restaurant right before police got there.

“[My son] said he heard police saying drop the weapon and then he heard 4 or 5 shots," Collins said.

Many customers tell us they were relieved to see police get there when they did.

“If the doors would have been open, everyone could be dead right now," customer Jordan Creel said.

*SCENE VIDEO credit: Gaston Talks*

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