Police: Driver shot trying to flee Spartanburg traffic stop - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Police: Driver shot trying to flee Spartanburg traffic stop

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Investigators at the scene of the Dunbarton Court home in Spartanburg. (Feb. 4, 2014/FOX Carolina) Investigators at the scene of the Dunbarton Court home in Spartanburg. (Feb. 4, 2014/FOX Carolina)
A Kia Sorrento parked at the Dunbarton Court home where police say the driver was located. (Feb. 4, 2014/FOX Carolina) A Kia Sorrento parked at the Dunbarton Court home where police say the driver was located. (Feb. 4, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Thomas O'Meara (L) and Emily Cunningham (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center) Thomas O'Meara (L) and Emily Cunningham (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Spartanburg police say an officer fired shots at a car fleeing a traffic stop Tuesday morning, hitting the driver twice.

SLED spokesperson Thom Berry said their office was called in by Spartanburg Public Safety after two officers were involved in a shooting with two other people.

According to police spokesperson Capt. Art Littlejohn, officers were investigating the report of a suspicious vehicle involved in drug activity at 688 East Main St. A description of the car was sent out and when a responding officer stopped the Kia Sorrento on Maryland Avenue, Littlejohn said they smelled marijuana from inside.

Officers tried to removed the driver while the passenger was also detained, but Littlejohn said the man placed the car in drive. He said the officer put the car in park, but the driver again put it in drive while they commanded him to stop.

The driver, identified as 27-year-old Thomas P. O'Meara, succeeded in putting the car back in drive and sped off, with officers still standing in the open doorway, Littlejohn said. Afraid of being injured, an officer fired a gun at the car as it fled away, according to police.

Moments later, police said they learned O'Meara was at a home in the sheriff's office jurisdiction. Spartanburg County deputies said they were called to that home along Dunbarton Court about a gunshot victim.

Deputies said they were informed that one person had been shot and when they arrived at the home, they determined the person was connected to the city's officer-involved shooting case.

Littlejohn said the victim was identified as O'Meara and he had been shot two gunshot wounds. He said O'Meara was taken to the hospital and released.

At the home, police asked deputies to secure a vehicle that was turned over to SLED as part of the investigation, according to the sheriff's office.

According to police, charges are pending against O'Meara as their investigation continues. Online jail records show he has been booked, but no charges have posted yet.

Littlejohn said the passenger, 19-year-old Emily Cunningham, was arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana. She has since been released from jail.

Berry said they were told the officers were not injured. SLED will investigate the shooting, which is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings.

The officer who fired his weapon is on administrative leave pending an internal review, Littlejohn said. 

O'Meara's bond was set at $13,000 on Tuesday night.

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