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Thomas Wayne Carlson III
courtesy of Burke Co. Sheriff's Office

Suspect Arrested After Burke County Vehicle Pursuit with Shots Fired

40-year-old Thomas Wayne Carlson III of Walker Road in Morganton was arrested by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers today (May 3) on felony counts of assault on law enforcement officer with a firearm, fleeing to elude arrest, attempting to discharge a weapon into an occupied vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, resisting a public officer, speeding, and failure to heed a light or siren, along with traffic citations for driving left of center and unsafe passing.

Early this morning, the Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding shots fired into a vehicle. Deputies responded to an apartment on Wall Street and spoke with the victim, who suffered minor injuries. Officers patrolled the immediate area in an attempt to locate the suspect vehicle.

A Deputy spotted the vehicle, which had pulled into a driveway on Eastbrook Circle. The Deputy approached and saw the suspect as he reached between the driver’s seat and console. The suspect reentered the vehicle and fled the scene at a high rate of speed. During the pursuit, the driver pointed a firearm out the window and discharged multiple rounds toward Officers.

The pursuit continued for several miles to Rutherford College Road where spike strips were deployed by Drexel Police. The chase continued through the county and came to an end on Devinney Street where the subject fled on foot to a nearby residence. Deputies searched the vehicle and recovered documents with the subject’s personal information.

A search warrant was issued for a residence on Amherst Road where the offender, Thomas Wayne Carlson III, had barricaded himself inside. A containment perimeter was established and Officers attempted to persuade Carlson to surrender. After two hours of negotiations, Carlson was taken into custody without further incident.

Carlson was jailed in the Burke County Jail where he is being held without bond. He’ll appear in District Court on May 6 in Morganton.