Carolina Beach police name 21-year-old in rifle attack on officers

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CAROLINA BEACH — Carolina Beach Police have identified 21-year-old Thomas Henry Coulson as the shooter in an incident that took place Monday afternoon just after 3 p.m.

There were no injuries during the incident, but police are also now saying that at least one officer was struck by a bullet, which hit the officer’s equipment and uniform.

Officers from Carolina Beach and Kure Beach responding to the sound of gunshots in the area of 1600 Sea Ray Lane found themselves almost immediately under fire, Carolina Beach Police Chief Christopher Spivey said from the scene on Monday.  The officers found cover and needed to be extracted by the county emergency response team.

Officers from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, ATF, Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, North Carolina State Parks and Fort Fisher Police responded to assist, according to a press release about the incident issued Monday night. Vehicles, including school buses that were transporting students home at that hour, were rerouted while the scene was active.

Police say Coulson fled the residence he was firing from on foot and was apprehended by officers a short distance from the scene. The suspected firearm, a rifle, was also recovered.

As of Monday night, the incident was still under investigation and officers remained at the scene. Criminal charges will be issued pending the investigation, police said.”

“Mr. Coulson is in custody and there is no reason to believe there is a present danger,” the release states. “No other suspects were implicated.”