Knightdale business shooting investigation to be ‘handled with great care,’ chief says


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KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WNCN) — Knightdale’s chief of police says the case in which a 54-year-old business owner shot a larceny suspect “must be handled with great care.”

Around 6 p.m. Monday, police were investigating a larceny at the Wal-Mart on Knightdale Boulevard when the suspect, 24-year-old Deondrea Branch, ran from the scene. He crossed the street and entered an office building.

Branch was able to enter a secured area of the building which houses an office belonging to a CPA.

RELATED: Suspect fleeing Walmart shot by woman in nearby building, Knightdale police say

Once inside the CPA’s office, Branch encountered the business owner, Connie Wells, police said. Wells, a concealed carry permit holder, was working alone when Branch entered the office.

Knightdale police have not released details of what occurred next but Branch suffered a gunshot wound in the incident.

He is in critical but stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Investigators are looking through surveillance footage as there were no eye witnesses to the shooting, police said.

“People are understandably curious about whether or not Mr. Branch was armed when he encountered Mrs. Wells,” said Chief Lawrence Capps. “It is important for everyone to understand that the dynamics of such a case must be handled with great care.”

Capps said certain details of the incident can not be released during the investigation but the Knightdale Police Department will discuss charges in the case with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office.

An incident report states Branch is accused of stealing 10 bras from Wal-Mart. It was not immediately clear how many bras were recovered.

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