Tarboro officer on administrative leave after gun discharges during arrest after chase, suspect facing charges

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TARBORO, N.C. (WNCT) — Tarboro police say an officer is on administrative leave pending an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation after a suspect was shot when an officer’s gun discharged during an arrest.

Police said in a press release late Sunday that the incident happened Sunday morning around 9:45 a.m. at a traffic safety checkpoint near Edgecombe Community College. A driver, Christopher Tervon Harris, 30, was pulled over and, while talking to officers, he sped away, leading to a chase.

“While doing so an individual approached and officers detected an odor of marijuana and alcohol coming from the vehicle,” police said in the release.

The chase ended when the suspect crashed his vehicle into another vehicle. The suspect then tried to run away from the scene as officers chased him. An officer captured Harris and during the process, his gun fired, striking Harris.

“During this time, the officer’s firearm discharged causing a non-life-threatening injury to the driver,” police said.

Harris was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he was treated and released. He was then charged with felony speeding to elude arrest, possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine, resist/delay/obstruct a public officer, and careless and reckless driving. He was released later Sunday on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

The officer will be on administrative leave pending the outcome of the SBI investigation.

“Since a firearm discharged during this interaction the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was contacted to investigate the incident, which is standard protocol,” police said.

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