12/28/04 — Mount Olive officer shot at during chase

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Mount Olive officer shot at during chase

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 28, 2004 2:06 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Robbers opened fire on the squad car of officer James Myers, who broke up an armed robbery on Christmas Eve, according to Mount Olive Police Department's Major Ralph Schroeder.

Police are developing leads now, Schroeder said this morning.

Myers responded to an armed robbery call at 100 Royal Circle around 10:15 p.m. Friday. The dispatcher said a white Dodge Neon was parked nearby and was involved with the robbery.

Bullet hole in windshield

Bobby Williams

Mount Olive police officer Jim Myers looks at a bullet hole in the windshield of his squad car this morning.

During the chase, which reached speeds of more than 100 miles an hour, Myers "heard two to four pops, coming from the vehicle."

He said he then heard a loud crack in his windshield when the Neon only about 30 yards from his squad car. A bullet had hit the squad car's windshield on the passenger side about three feet from Myers' head.

Myers said the incident started when he was driving south on Breazeale Avenue and noticed headlights on Royal Circle facing Breazeale.

He positioned his car at an angle and tried to stop the suspicious-looking Neon.

He said a black man wearing a camouflage jacket and olive-colored hat was driving the Neon. He saw three other men in the car.

Myers said he tried to stop the Neon, but it backed up and went around his squad car.

"I notified dispatch that I had the suspect vehicle, but it would not stop," he said in his report. "I then fell in behind the vehicle going north on Breazeale Avenue."

He called in the license plate number, and it came back belonging to a woman who lives in Kinston.

The Neon accelerated to about 70 miles per hour before turning right onto Main Street and running the stop sign at Center Street.

A few miles out of town the Neon passed vehicles in a curve and ran the Rones Chapel stop sign.

"The average speed of my vehicle was 95 miles per hour to 110 miles per hour," said Myers.

The the driver of the Neon slammed on the brakes at Brocks Chapel Church Road. Myers saw smoke from the tires. That's when he heard gunfire and saw his windshield shatter from the impact of a bullet.

He said he continued following the Neon on rural road 1004 toward Red Hill and Beautancus roads. The Neon went north on Red Hill Road, then turned left onto Bennett's Bridge Road. Myers said he lost sight of the Neon after it passed a van.

Law enforcement officers met at Scott's Store to coordinate a search.

When Myers returned to the Mount Olive Police Department, he learned that the residence on Royal Circle had been robbed at gunpoint.