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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The 23-year-old man shot by a New Hanover County Deputy last week is now in the New Hanover County Jail.

Darius Hester was booked around 7 p.m.

Court documents show Darius Hester has been accused before of having a weapon before, but the last time he got out of it.

Hester was scheduled to make his first appearance in court this afternoon. He did not make it, because he was still recovering at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Hester is charged with attempted first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon on a government official.

The Sheriff’s Office says Dep. Joshua Cranford was on patrol in the Rockhill Road area in Castle Hayne Friday when he encountered Hester. According to an arrest warrant, Hester took a 9 mm semi-automatic Luger from his waistband and tried to shoot Cranford.

Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the SBI, which is handling the investigation into the shooting, are not saying what led to incident. Dep. Cranford is on administrative leave as the investigation continues.

The suspect’s younger sister, who did not want to go on camera, says Hester was shot in the back right shoulder, like he was “walking away.” She said she was able to see her brother briefly Friday after the shooting, but has not seen him since.

Court documents show Hester was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia in July 2012. His file also shows that he performed 10 hours of community service after his arrest and also had to follow an overnight curfew. The district attorney later dismissed the charges.

Comment on this Story

  • Didathis

    Damn shame didn’t kill him. Less money out of my first 13 days of the month.

  • Guesttoo

    It would be interesting to know why the 2012 charges were dropped. It would also be interesting to know if he was the rightful, legal owner of the weapon last year. Was it returned to him when the charges were dropped? Was it the same one used in this incident?

    I could care less if he was shot in the back shoulder. If he tried to shoot an officer and then run, he’s fair game at that point.

  • Wilmington Observer

    A “frequent flyer” of the criminal justice system and another example of why I would prefer my (tax) money be diverted to the building and staffing of more prisons instead of providing others housing, medical care, education, transportation, job training, daycare, cellphones, etc, etc.

    Wilmington Observer

  • PublicAvenger

    Do you think New Hanover Co. should have given Carolina Beach $500,000 for boardwalk improvements?

    No- Why should we waste taxpayer’s money, on walkways, thousands of citizens, and tourists, can enjoy ? When we can pay $100,000 on this criminal, monster’s medical and legal expenses.

  • Guest-o-matic

    Couldn’t have said that much clearer!

  • Native American

    His sister has already eluded to the him “walking away” and being shot in the back right shoulder. Come on Al Sharpton, camera’s are waiting.

  • Guest-o-matic

    “Pitty-pat on the wrist, don’t do that again”…sez the judge. These slug-muggs are pushing and pushing and pushing. Here, we had another deputy with his life in danger (not to mention “thah ol’ ordinary citizens”), because this punk was allowed to mingle among us once again…as he pleased.

    Thank you judge. Thank you DA’s, but tell us all:

    How many Felony convictions are allowed before a repeated felonious offender IS NOT…EVER, allowed back into society?

    What is the answer?

    Why not 3?

  • Guest22332267

    It is mind blowing how many weapon and felony offenses are dropped or reduced to misdemeanors, and I mean for career criminals.

  • bobbebe

    Once Again…All the hard working Law Men in this town are wasting their time if the Prosecuters will not prosecute…..

  • dave

    I know what to do… Let’s buy his gun back and reward him for breaking the law!!!!

  • PublicAvenger

    Great job Dep. Cranford. It’s a shame you, and all the others who protect us, have to deal with dangerous thugs, like this. Great job, SBI and NHCSD.

    What was he doing with a 9MM Pistol anyway ? I guess his sister, and neighbor, didn’t tell the full story. Imagine that.

  • guesty

    I’m sure it is all a misunderstanding and he is a great guy that never hurt anybody. Not.

    Too bad the round from the deputy didn’t hit center mass or his dome.

  • Gritz2u

    The deputy is no hero. I have never seen a cop who was anything but rude and arrogant. Maybe the shooting was justified, maybe it wasn’t.

  • guesty

    You come off with an poor attitude so they give you some back. Try being polite during your next officer encounter.


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