LELAND -- A Leland man is in critical condition after being shot by Brunswick County deputies. It happened Wednesday night around 11:30 off Maco Road. Neighbor Lyle Baroski said, "I heard arguing from across the street and it was two men, and it sounded like a pretty heated argument." Lyle baroski has heard gunshots coming from George Cooper's trailer in the past. When he heard Tuesday night's argument grow worse, he called 911. Baroski said, "I had to think about whether I made the right decision by calling 911." When deputies arrived at the house about 15 minutes after the call was placed, they say Cooper answered the door and leveled a shotgun at them. The officers responded by opening fire. According to deputies about six shots were fired at Cooper. Witnesses say one hit Cooper in the stomach, severely injuring him. Inside the house at the time of the shooting was another male subject and Cooper's nine-year-old son. He was quickly given a blanket, a teddy bear and was guided in counseling by a chaplain." Sheriff Ron Hewett says his deputies did everything by the book. "When officers put on a badge and go to work, they never know if they are going to come home or if they won't," Hewett said. "I think our officers acted appropriately, with valor, and they came home alive. And that's what matters, they came home alive." The State Bureau of Investigations is reviewing all of the evidence. The two deputies who fired the shots are on paid leave. The deputies involved all have clean records. Sheriff Hewett says he doesn't expect the men to face any charges. George Cooper is recovering at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
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