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North Carolina Deputy Shot and Wounded, Suspect Charged

April 16, 2018  | 

A 16-year-old accused of shooting a Harnett County, NC, deputy in the face and chest Saturday evening has been charged, reports WRAL.

Deputy James Eric Cook (Photo: Harnett County Sheriff)
Deputy James Eric Cook (Photo: Harnett County Sheriff)

According to Sheriff Wayne Coats, authorities received a tip about a missing juvenile at about 6:34 p.m. and Deputy James Eric Cook responded to a wooded area in Cameron, NC, to investigate.

Coats said Cook confronted Mario Alexander Garza III, who was reported missing Friday night, and the pair got into an altercation. During the altercation, police say Garza pulled a .45 caliber gun and shot Cook in the face and chest.

Coats said one bullet struck Cook in the cheekbone and the one that struck his chest was stopped by a ballistic vest.

Coats said Cook may have eye damage, and his right ankle is shattered, possibly by tripping over a log, reports the Fayetteville Observer.

Cook was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was in stable condition and able to talk late Saturday night. He was expected to require surgery.

Garza has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and serious injury assault on a law enforcement officer. His bond was set at $1.5 million.

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Jon Retired LEO @ 4/16/2018 6:20 PM

May Garza get life in prison for attempting to murder Deputy Cook but the way sentencings are going I doubt it. Wishing you a very speedy recovery Deputy Cook.

kojack58 @ 4/17/2018 8:21 AM

Why did that suspect walk out of those woods alive. He had a weapon he shot an officer are we all afraid to shoot suspects now that are shooting at us. I hope the court system gives him the death penalty.

Skiman94 @ 4/20/2018 7:55 AM

I believe Deputy Cook went in by himself, to find a missing juvenile. These kids today, I can't figure it.

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