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Two hurt during police-involved accidental shooting in Belmont

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TWC News: Two hurt during police-involved accidental shooting in Belmont
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BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont Police and the State Bureau of Investigation are looking into a New Year's Eve shooting that left a 24-year-old woman and a police officer hurt.

It happened in a gated community off of South Point Road. Police responded to what they thought was a case of road rage.

They confronted Melissa Verner, 24, who officers said was combative and uncooperative.

As officers struggled with Verner, an officer's gun discharged.

"It's mass confusion when something like this is going on and things happen," said Chief Charlie Franklin. "And you know, at this point, like I say, the gun discharged because of them having a struggle on the ground."

Verner and Officer Randy Berry were hit by bullet fragments. Both were treated and released by Gaston Memorial Hospital.

The officer whose gun discharged, Sgt. Brad Pickert, has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

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