No one was hurt and an Elizabeth City man was in custody for allegedly driving while impaired and a weapons-related charge after the gun he was holding while driving fired a shot through his own windshield in the parking lot of a Kill Devil Hills restaurant early Sunday.
Police said the incident happened around 2:14 a.m. outside the Outer Banks Brewing Station, when a burgundy Buick was observed making a u-turn in the west end of the parking lot.
After hearing a shot fired from the vehicle, officers quickly converged and established control of the driver and two passengers.
A .40 caliber Sig Sauer semiautomatic handgun was recovered from inside the vehicle along with a spent shell casing.
There was also a bullet hole in the front windshield, but the gun was fired at an angle that precluded recovery of the bullet.
Investigators determined James Mullen, 32, of Elizabeth City had the gun in his hand as he was steering the vehicle and accidentally discharged the weapon.
Mullen was arrested for the discharge of the firearm and also for driving while impaired, and was booked at the Dare County Detention Center. The passengers were released with no charges.
“The Kill Devil Hills Police Department would like to thank the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Nags Head PD, Kitty Hawk PD, Duck PD, Southern Shores PD, Vident Police, and of course our outstanding Dare County telecommunicators, who helped resolve this situation quickly, efficiently and without injury,” said police chief Gary Britt.