A 16-year-old suspect was caught hours later after a massive manhunt, Sheriff Wayne Coats said
By Rodger Mullen
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
CAMERON, N.C. — A 16-year-old
suspected of shooting a Harnett County deputy on Saturday was caught
hours later after a massive manhunt, Sheriff Wayne Coats said.
Alexander Garcia III, no address available, was taken into custody
shortly before 10 p.m. It was not clear what he would be charged with,
The deputy, identified as James Cook, was in stable
condition late Saturday at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in
Fayetteville, Coats said.
Cook was shot near H.M. Cagle Drive
while conducting an investigation, said Maj. Jeff Huber, a spokesman for
the Sheriff's Office. The shooting occurred on a dirt path in a wooded
area near Spout Springs Church.
He had responded to a call about a missing juvenile around 6:34 p.m.
“They got into a scuffle and he pulled a gun out and shot him,’’ Coats said.
was shot in the face and chest at close range, the sheriff said. The
shooting happened a few hundred feet from Cook's patrol vehicle. The
sheriff said he did not know where Garcia got the gun, believed to be a
Coats talked to reporters at a news conference after visiting with Cook at the hospital.
said Cook was alert and talking with him. When Coats rounded the corner
toward the deputy's room, Cook was able to say "Sheriff, I'm OK.''
Cook has been with the Sheriff's Office about eight years.
Cagle Drive is off N.C. 87, about seven miles north of Spring Lake. It
is near a shopping center that includes a Food Lion grocery store.
For awhile, N.C. 87 was shut down.
“We didn’t want him to be able to get back and possibly carjack somebody,’’ Coats said.
Saturday night, patrol vehicles and emergency personnel from various
agencies were in the area. Authorities were set up near Cagle Furniture
and Spout Springs Church. Dogs and a helicopter from the state Highway
Patrol were used in the search.
The Highway Patrol and members of
the sheriff's offices in Cumberland, Lee and Wake counties and the
Fayetteville Police Department were among the agencies that took part in
"We weren't going to stop until we got him,’’ the sheriff said.