UPDATED: Stolen U-Haul leads to officer involved shooting

Union County Shooting

HAYESVILLE, NC – FYN received verified information regarding an officer involved shooting in Clay County, NC.

Oofficer shooting Clay County

Photo taken at the scene (Credit: Murphy, Hayesville, and Surrounding Tri-State Area Traffic, Weather, and News/Facebook)

Late this afternoon, Wednesday, March 21, Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies pursued a stolen U-Haul truck in the vicinity of Elf School Road toward NC-175.

Shots were fired by law enforcement.

A female subject was struck by gunfire and air-lifted for medical treatment.

The subject’s identity and condition are unknown at this time.

Follow FYN as additional information develops.

UPDATE: Clay County Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement Thursday night.

“At approximately 4:14 PM Deputies with Clay County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a vehicle pursuit after attempting to stop a stolen U-Haul truck. During the pursuit there was an officer involved shooting where a female passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was arrested and is currently confined in Clay County Detention Center. There is no on-going threat to the community and an official press release will follow on Friday.”


In the early afternoon hours of March 21, 2019, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office took a report of a stolen U-Haul truck. Later that afternoon, Clay County dispatch center received a report of a U-Haul truck in the Shooting Creek Community that matched the description of the one that was reported stolen earlier in the day. Deputies initiated a traffic stop on the U-Haul on Highway 64 East at the Shooting Creek Market. Before it came to a complete stop in the parking lot, it immediately left and continued west on Hwy 64 at a high rate of speed. Deputies pursued the vehicle down Highway 64 and onto Old Highway 64 East where it sped through a construction zone. It continued towards Highway 175 and eventually turned onto Elf School Road. The stolen U-Haul turned around in a field at the end of Patterson Road and traveled back out Elf School Road.

Fearing the U-Haul would go back into the construction zone and strike pedestrians, a deputy was blocking a portion of Elf School Road. The U-Haul then accelerated directly into the path of the deputy who was out of his vehicle. The deputy fired his service weapon at the U-Haul. The U-Haul turned into a field and the driver attempted to run from deputies on foot but was taken into custody. The female passenger was flown to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for treatment and was released a short time later. During the pursuit the U-Haul struck two patrol cars, one of which was totaled, and almost ran over pedestrians in the construction zone.

The NC State Bureau of Investigation was immediately notified and responded to the scene.

Michael Paul Ledford, 36 of Murphy NC was charged with Driving While License Revoked, Reckless Driving to Endanger, Reckless Driving With Wanton Disregard, 2 counts of Injury to Personal Property, Felony Flee/Elude Arrest, Felony Possession of Stolen Motor Vehicle, and 5 counts of Assault With a Deadly Weapon With Intent to Kill. Ledford was given a $350,000 secured bond and a court date of April 4, 2019.

Ledford also had active warrants for arrest out of Cherokee County for Resisting Public Officer, Felony Break and Enter, Larceny After Break and Enter, Injury to Real Property, Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was given a secured bond of $8,500 on those charges and a court date of April 2, 2019.

This is an on-going investigation and more information will be released at a later time.


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

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