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Deputy recovering after surgery, search for shooter continues



WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A New Hanover County Sheriff's deputy is recovering after what the Sheriff's Office called "successful surgery" after he was shot today in Creekwood. Meanwhile, the search continues for the man who shot him.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have joined forces to search for the suspect.

Sheriff Ed McMahon identified the injured deputy as Det. Michael Spencer.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says Spencer appears to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries and should be OK.

Brewer says deputies, including Spencer, approached two men they saw drive into Creekwood. As they approached, the man who had been the passenger in the car started shooting. Spencer, a member of the Gang Task Force, was hit. Brewer says another deputy took cover behind a telephone pole and returned fire.

PHOTO GALLERY: Search for suspect in deputy shooting

Investigators say they are looking for a black male 5'8" or 5'10", 215-230 lbs. wearing black jeans, a black hoodie and a knit ball cap. McMahon says the unnamed suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.

At one point officers converged on an apartment at Lennon Woods on Lennon Drive. McMahon would not say whether that was related to the search for the shooting suspect.

Officers captured the driver of the car. They later released him and his vehicle after questioning him. Investigators have not released his identity.

During an afternoon news conference, Sheriff McMahon was asked if Creekwood has a gang problem. He would only say there was a gang problem in general in the area.

The shooting led to lockdowns at Mosley Performance Learning Center and Freeman Elementary School. The district later said law enforcement gave clearance to allow buses into Creekwood with police escort.

Police, deputies and state troopers swarmed the area in and around Creekwood looking for the suspect. Brewer said the SABLE helicopter could not used because of the weather. Pender County and Brunswick County also offered assistance, including K-9 units and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office's new armored personnel carrier, which carried its SWAT Team.

Law enforcement officers blocked streets around the neighborhood. For much of the afternoon a Wilmington Police officer with a large firearm guarded the entrance to Creekwood. Officers also checked vehicles as they left Creekwood.

Creekwood residents say they are angry, because they say they never see this many officers when residents are shot in the neighborhood.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


get a clue!

"it's not the people in creekwood, its the outsiders"
yea that makes a lot of sense, why are the outsiders there in the first place? ill tell you, they are peddling drugs to the addicts, or the bangers in the project! how about making government funded housing projects like military barraks, open to full search at any time without warrant. it's government owned, private rights do not apply. just like military barracksx.


What's going on near airport on Kerr? Any relation?


the woods behind creekwood back up to MLK around Kerr

I've had it with all the

I've had it with all the crime going on around that area and in Wilmington in general. It's ridiculous the shootings and break-ins that occuring all across the city and no one is ever caught. What is going on? Why can't we stop these people?

Deputy Shot

It's not just Wilmington -- I live in Vicksburg MS and it's not safe to go downtown after dark here because of the young kids with nothing to do and guns in their possession. The police are doing everything they can but until parents start being parents and taking care of their children, this will not end soon and will not be pretty.

My prayers go out to all of you out there.

no one is ever caught.???

They catch a ton of people. It's the judges who you elect that keep letting them out.
Not to long ago after a shooting a guy had 4 prior violent felonies and had served no time. Then got caught with a gun as a felon and did only 10 days. If he owed 27 dollars to child support he would still be in jail. Silly
The people they arrest have huge records. Look them up

Say no more....

Looks like Managing Editor Annette Fuller didn't do her homework, or at least have someone do it for her???

Part of the reason for the

Part of the reason for the continuation of the violence in these communities is that the residents support the perpetrators. Many indirectly support them because they are afraid to speak out and many more support them because of the "Don't be a rat" culture that is bred into them. Some horrendous act will have to occur to smack them in the face and bring their outrage to the surface. The cops can only do so much and what they do is mostly based on what someone tells them, whether it is an informant, defendant, or witness.

What is going on, on Kerr Ave

There are several police vehicles with several barreled weapons next to the airport.

Funny how they will pull out

Funny how they will pull out all the stops and even bring in state troopers to investigate/pursue suspects when one of the King's men gets shot.. Way more of a response than you would see if it were an average citizen..



Hey Dumb A%&...

Did you really make this comment?? If someone is crazy enough to shoot at an armed law enforcement officer what do you think they would do to an "average citizen"? You would be the same person bitching if they did not lock anything down and something happened. Nothing worse than an arm chair quarterback. Simply put, it is east to make these dumb a$% comments you make from the safety of your home.

You are so heartless

How dare you insult the people who are willing to give their life to protect you and your family. how about you get off your computer and you go look for this guy? Oh that's right you won't because you are so wrapped up in insulting and judging while people are risking their life at the moment... Please shut your mouth and get over yourself. The ignorant people of today...

True Point!

I have to agree on this one here. I understand crime is crime but why all of a sudden they want to close off roads and lockdown school now? Is it all being that one of your task member was shot? Shouldn't it be like this when any kind of shooting happens within the city? Don't take the extra step when one of your fellow members is hurt, do it for each shooting and gunfight!! Whether its black, white, mexican, or etc take the probable cause to do so for each event and not just when a officier is down!!


NOT AT ALL A "TRUE POINT". I moved away from Wilmington years ago with my school aged son due to the constant "lockdowns" of the schools just outside of these crime infested areas. I have seen several comments on this site that are simply ignorant. Opinions are perfectly fine, and everyone is entitled to one, but if you are going to make a comment that is accusatory toward the people who would be protecting your child if they attended one of these schools, you should check into it. If you do have a school aged child, and you aren't aware of the precautions taken for EVERY potentially dangerous incident that occurs outside of them, then you need to educate yourself on the safety of your child because you aren't paying attention. I have known the schools to lockdown because of gunfire in the area. Officer's respond, check the area, and clear if no victim, bad guy, or reporting person (most likely was anonymous caller) and lockdown is released. If you do not have a child in school, then most likely you aren't even going to be made aware because as much as people turn to the media for "news", if it doesn't seem interesting, it's not mentioned, and 9 times out of 10, it isn't accurate. If you feel the need to comment on something you obviously know nothing about, at least try to do a little research first. Crime stats are available. School lockdowns are documented. The definition of ignorance is the lack of knowledge or information. The definition of STUPIDY (my version) is posting said ignorance on a public site. If you don't believe that the Officers or Deputies do their job correctly, don't call them. Deal with it yourself. Then you have absolutely nothing to complain about.


To answer your question, why is there so much response? For one, there is a gunman on the run who is crazy enough to shoot at a law enforcement officer and hit and injure him. Luckily he is going to be okay, but I'm sure the "thug" was aiming to kill, he wouldn't have cared. The 2nd reason is because law enforcement knew that the school systems would be out soon, and tons of buses loaded with school children would be coming in and out of the community as a crazed gunman is on the loose and obviously willing to do whatever it takes to evade police. Possibly even hurting children in the course of it. It's bad enough that these low life "thugs" shoot at each other, but to harm an officer of the law trying to protect the community and to possibly harm children, that my dear sir is why there is such response! And good for them! I'm proud of our brave officers trying to protect and clean up our communities.


Maybe there's all the law enforcement there because when they heard that another officer had been shot, they all responded as his backup. Mess with one brother, you have to deal with the rest.

Must be easy to comment

Must be easy to comment sitting safely behind your computer screen. You lack common sense. I hear about the shooting and immediately call my husband to make sure he was not shot while you sit hear and whine about how many responders come out to help. Who are you going to call if someone shoots you? Funny how people have negative things to say but are the FIRST ones to call the cops when something happens to them. My husband risks his life every single day for unappreciative people just like you.

Proud to be a Deputy's wife!

my thoughts

excatly, my phone was in my hand calling my law enforcement husband. When your family member walks out the house each day with a bulletproof vest on and a gun on their waist in order to do their job let me know. Until then your comment is an ignorant one and not appericated.
I appericate all of our first responders for their scarfices they make each and everyday & for the families that worry for them each day they carry out their sworn duty.

Your Husband

Your Husband chose this job, the job did not choose him. Just because he is in law enforcement he should someway be more privlege than the rest of us. Just like a cop and his wife. You are no different nor any better than anyone else out there. If you are afraid he will be shot or if he is maybe he needs to find a different job!!! I have no pity, it could happen to any of us......


Nope not privlged, but appericated! You are 100% right he CHOSE this job, if not for him and the countless others whom chose this job who would you call? You have no pity, there is another igornat statement. It is people like you that are the first to complain when they dont respond as quickly as you want when you need them, but in the next breath you complain about how you dont need them.

Think the next you need 911, think of how you are calling because you need help. If all LEO's chose another job whom would respond when you would call? They do not chose this job for the glamour, the money or the appreciation...they do it to try to make a diffrence.

I as thousands of other family members of first reponders worry each and every day about our loved ones putting thier lives on the line each and everday. This is the job they chose and will contuine to protect and serve even people like you whom don't appericate it.

I as thousand of other

I as thousand of other family members of husbands, wives and children worry each and every day about our loved ones as they walk out the door. Do you think that just because my husband or child is not in law enforcement I worry about my family any less than you do. I will never understand why law enforcement or their wives think they are better than anyone else. We are all human, we all live in the same city. We all pay taxes, so NO you are not better than me or anyone else.

You are so right! A lot of

You are so right! A lot of people have the same mentality for the Military. It's too bad, you just can't fix STUPID!

True Fact

I have to agree on this one here, I understand crime is crime but you have a point right there. If you want to close off roads and have schools on lockdown for a shooting, then this need to occur around every shooting and gunfight in the city. Not when one of your fellow task member is shot!

Someone needs to know what

Someone needs to know what they are talking about before they speak, all schools that are near a shooting are put on lockdown, not just because a deputy was shot.

Learn your facts!

Really? Each shooting has

Really? Each shooting has brought more and more and more police involvement. My husband is a WPD and has been forced to work mandatory overtime to guard the streets of these "neighborhoods" where "gangs" want to shoot each other... When one of the "King's men" gets shot vs. a "thug" shooting another "thug" it's a little more serious, not because he is the "Kings men" but to be defiant enough to come out shooting at law enforcement really shows the lack of care these individuals have. And being they ran on foot with numerous surrounding schools full of children... Yes... Bring all of the departments out please.

Anyone who took up a job in

Anyone who took up a job in LE knew what they were getting into, no one forced them into it. If they have an issue with the danger associated then they should seek another line of work.

As far as the shooter being more likely to kill any "average citizen" they ran across, I wouldn't be so sure, LE can haul them off to jail at a traffic stop for outstanding warrants, etc. Any old average citizen is no threat to them at all. I'd say this deranged shooter was probably MORE likely to take a shot at an LEO than anyone else.

Bottom line, a LEO's life is worth the same as any other citizen, no more and no less. I'm not anti-LEO, just pointing out the obvious difference in the response and most of you get butthurt about it.

And no, I won't be calling 911 to save me, I think people should take responsibility for their own welfare and safety and not rely on LE. Funny how no one here can handle anyone who doesn't automatically agree with their viewpoint.

Funny how you sit behind

Funny how you sit behind your computer and trash the police department. When these thugs start shooting police officers, there is a clear sign that there is no fear of their consequences. No respect for anyone...including themselves. I say we just go ahead and demolish that section of town and start over.


You're a disgrace to the human race.

Ok I'm gonna tell you

Ok I'm gonna tell you why....because we can not and will not tolerate people shooting the men and women that protect and serve us!