GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — A suspect is dead after an officer-involved shooting ends a hostage situation and a multi-county crime spree that began with an armed robbery in Cleveland County.
According to investigators, the armed robbery occurred on Earl Rd, in Cleveland County around lunchtime on Thursday. A short time later, Cherryville Police who was assisting Cleveland County in the armed robbery investigation encountered the suspect. The suspect, 54-year-old Chucky Nathaniel Bowden of Cherryville, fled in a vehicle and led a pursuit with multiple agencies.
Bowden crashed the vehicle on Highway 279 near Dick Beam Road. After a short foot chase, shots were fired after Cherryville Police encountered Bowden again.
Bowden then fled on foot and an extensive manhunt occurred. During the search, investigators received a tip that the suspect was at the Creekside Market Deli between Bessemer City and Cherryville in Gaston County.
Robert Moorman, who said he was one of a handful of people taken hostage during Thursday’s standoff, said Bowden appeared to be acting normal up until authorities arrived at the store.
As Gastonia Police, Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, and Gaston County Police arrived at the store, the suspect was found to be inside with hostages. Shots were fired again and Bowden was fatally wounded.
Investigators say no hostages were injured, and no law enforcement officers were injured in either officer-involved shooting.
In an interview Friday, Moorman said that Bowden told him during the standoff that “he didn’t care whether he lived or not.”
“It’s like you dream it again when you sleep. You’re not going to forget something like this,” he said.
According to state records, Bowden had a previous history of arrests for charges out of Lincoln County going back to the late 1980s and early 1990s.
North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is investigating both of the officer-involved shootings. If you have any information that may aid investigators about the crimes that occurred, you’re asked to reach out to Gaston County Police or Crimestoppers at (704) 861-8000.
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