One of two men wanted in connection with a Friday night drug transaction and assault on Mount Airy police which led to an officer-involved shooting is now in custody.
Joseph Harold Ezekiel, 51, who has been listed with an address of 195 Deerfield Lane, turned himself in over the weekend on multiple charges relating to an incident culminating with narcotics detectives firing into a vehicle being driven toward them.
Ezekiel was identified as the driver of the 2010 Dodge Challenger involved in Friday night’s shooting at the Independence Plaza shopping center on the corner of North Renfro Street and Independence Boulevard in Mount Airy.
He is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, felony speeding to elude arrest, sale or delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (cocaine), maintaining a drug vehicle and conspiracy to sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (cocaine).
Ezekiel also is charged with resisting, obstructing or delaying a public officer because he attempted to flee from custody before being transported to the county jail in Dobson. He was being held there Monday under a $101,000 secured bond.
Meanwhile, the second man wanted, Derrick Ray Simmons, 25, whose address has been listed as 612-B Worth St., remained at large Monday. Simmons has been charged with sale or delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance and conspiracy to sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance.
Both Simmons and Ezekiel have a history of felony drug arrests.
The crime unfolded when city police attempted to stop a 2010 Dodge Challenger believed to have been part of an illegal drug transaction.
When the two officers involved, identified Monday as narcotics detectives Phillip Newman and Alex Ledford, approached the vehicle, it was driven toward one of them.
Due to that action of the driver and believing their lives were in imminent danger, the officers fired their weapons into the car, which sped from the scene.
Soon after, an unidentified female sought treatment at Northern Hospital of Surry County for a gunshot wound described as non-life-threatening and it subsequently was determined that she had been among the occupants of the car.
The name of that individual still had not been released as of Monday.
Meanwhile, the Dodge Challenger was located unoccupied near Cherokee Trail, Mount Airy, and seized.
Both Newman and Ledford have been placed on paid administrative leave in keeping with police department policy. They will remain under that status pending the results of an inquiry by city police and the State Bureau of Investigation.
Newman and Ledford are the fifth members of the Mount Airy police force to be placed on administrative leave from officer-involved shootings since December 2010. The others are officers Carlos Garcia, Kyle James and Geoff Stroud.
Garcia was on paid administrative leave for nearly three months after a Dec. 24, 2010, shooting on Beechtree Circle, which was ruled justifiable. Garcia fatally shot a man who fired on police responding to an incident in which the man had killed his stepfather.
James and Stroud were under that status for about the same period after a June 10, 2011, incident in which a woman was killed after she had wounded both Police Chief Dale Watson and Capt. Alan Freeman with a shotgun.
In each of those cases, the officers were found to have acted properly.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.