NC cop accidentally shot by fellow cop confronting armed suspect

Officer K.J. Barefoot, 31, was taken to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh for treatment of the leg wound and later released

By Ron Gallagher
The News & Observer

RALEIGH, N.C. — One police officer's gun went off and another officer was wounded in the leg early Thursday as Raleigh police answered a call about a man who had been waving a handgun at an apartment complex in North Raleigh.

Officer K.J. Barefoot, 31, was taken to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh for treatment of the leg wound and later released.

Police arrested Joshua Daniel Timberlake, 28, on a domestic-abuse charge related to the incident. The department is still investigating how Barefoot was shot when police arrived at Timberlake's home in the Meridian at Wakefield apartment complex early Thursday morning.

During the incident, Sgt. J.D. Malzahn's service sidearm fired, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said. Police had not determined whether that was the only shot and whether it was Malzahn's round that struck Barefoot, he said. No one else has been charged in the shooting.

Malzahn has worked for the department since November 2009 and Barefoot joined in June 2012.

Both officers had responded to a call from a Meridian resident, who said he had encountered a man he knew yelling and waving a handgun between 11 p.m. and midnight after the Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat basketball game ended.

The man called police at 2:06 a.m., saying he could not sleep and that a Wake Forest police officer who lives nearby told him to call 911.

"I was walking home and the guy started yelling at me," the resident, whose name has not been released, told a 911 operator. "I walked over to him to see what the problem was. He was cursing at me, 'Ya want some of this, ya want some of this?' and as I got closer, I recognized the guy."

The caller said he approached as Timberlake's girlfriend was leaving in a car.

"She backed up, she said something to me, I didn't know what it was," the caller told the operator. " ... When I yelled his name, he turned around, he pulled a gun out."

The caller told the operator he knew the man kept a pistol-grip shotgun or a 9 mm handgun by his bed at night.

"It seemed like she was crying, he was drunk," the man said. "What's bothering me is, if he waved the gun at me, and I know him, what if somebody else was in the street just minding their own business and he killed them?"

Sughrue said police found Timberlake at an apartment on Colbert Creek Loop. He had a gun, according to police.

Emergency medical responders were called to the complex about 4 a.m. It's not clear why there was a gap between the time police were called to the complex and when EMS was summoned.

Copyright 2014 The News & Observer

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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