UPDATE: Man shot by police sent to hospital with life-threatening injuries
CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) – Two Carolina Beach police officers are on administrative leave after they were involved in a shooting that sent 41-year-old Robert Travis Fitts, of Wilmington, to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
“Cops came up, and got me to wake my kids, to make sure that they weren’t grazed by a bullet,” said Brittany Hanks. “That’s when it kind of got real.”
Hanks left Reidsville for the beach, something she does every year with her family, but this time was different.
She arrived in Carolina Beach Friday – settled in at the Dolphin Lane Motel that afternoon — then after midnight, she heard a noise coming from outside her window.
“I heard screaming, commotion, I figured people are probably coming home for the bars,” said Hank.
Seconds later – Hanks said the sound of gunshots rang out from the motel room below hers, against her better judgment she went to investigate, her maternal instincts kicked in.
“First thing I saw was a police officer coming out of the room yelling at the other one (officer) to get something out of the car,” said Hank.
Lois Brewer was at the same motel with her family to celebrate her mom’s 87th birthday, she heard gunshots as well, which caused her to draw the curtains to look outside.
“Lord, God, they shot somebody,” said Brewer.
According to a police statement, at about 12:28 Saturday morning two officers were involved in a shooting, at 318 North Carolina Beach Road.
“A hysterical woman at the scene was put in handcuffs,” according to Brewer.
“She (woman at the scene) was saying the laws broke down the door, they kicked in the door, and shot in there,” said Brewer.
Brewer’s sister-in-law Theresa Bullard saw the man being taken out on a stretcher.
“His right arm looked like he had a bandage on it, then he had bandages on his chest, cause she (woman at the scene) said, they shot him in his chest four times,” said Bullard.
Bullard believes the incident started because of an argument between a man and a woman.
“When I first looked out the window, I saw one dining room chair thrown out that room, like someone might have thrown it out the door,” said Bullard.
Harris woke up Saturday morning with a sense of relief, that her kids weren’t hurt in the crossfire.
“It was about 9 (a.m.), everything was cleared up, no more crime scene tape, to more nothing,” said Hank.
According to police the officers involved were not hurt.
Both the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are now handling the investigation.
Fitts is being treated at the Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center in stable but serious condition.