Wilmington police disclose details of an officer firing shots Christmas Day

WILMINGTON – The Wilmington Police Department has disclosed details of a preliminary investigation regarding shots fired by an officer Christmas Day.

The officer is on administrative leave while the internal investigation continues, which is standard protocol for any shots fired incident, the department stated.

According to a news release, Wilmington police responded to a domestic dispute in the 700 block of South 10th Street on Dec. 25 around 10:30 p.m.


The caller reported the suspect had choked and aimed a gun at her, according to the department, and was now threatening the life of her granddaughter at a home around the corner.

On scene, police rounded the corner to the 1000 block of Wooster Street, where the suspect – Devante Malik Pugh, 23 – was standing with the victim near a vehicle.

Despite several verbal commands, Pugh went into the house, police said. One of the officers followed Pugh and fired a shot from the doorway, missing the suspect.

Later during a search of the house, a revolver was found in the same area Pugh was standing when the officer fired his weapon.

The officer then backed onto the front lawn, where police continued to shout verbal commands. The department stated that Pugh exited the house but still did not comply with the directives.

Another officer then tased the suspect, “which did not affect Pugh, but allowed them to take the suspect into police custody,” according to the release.

Pugh is being held at the New Hanover County Jail under $139,000 in secured bonds. He was charged with possession of firearm by felon; possession of marijuana less than a half-ounce; possession of marijuana paraphernalia; possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute a Schedule II controlled substance; MSDP (manufacture, sell, distribute, possess) controlled substance within 1000 feet of a park; two counts of assault on a female; assault by pointing a gun and misdemeanor larceny.


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