For second time in 2012, North Charleston police officer is shot

A North Charleston police officer was shot Wednesday morning near 6929 Rivers Avenue, a commercial area across from Trident Technical College, which set off a massive search for the gunman.

A North Charleston police officer who was shot this morning suffered a minor wound, officials said.

The incident around 5 a.m. near 6929 Rivers Avenue, a commercial area across from Trident Technical College, set off a massive search for the gunman. Patrol cruisers were stopping motorists on Rivers Avenue, and a helicopter flew overhead.

Spencer Pryor, spokesman for the North Charleston Police Department, said Sgt. Eddie Bullard told dispatchers that he was making contact “with a subject.”

Moments later, the 15-year veteran of the department advised dispatchers that he had been shot, Pryor said in a statement.

A bullet struck the lower portion of Bullard’s protective vest. He was alert when he was transported to a hospital “to be checked out,” Pryor said.

No further information, such as what led to the shooting, was available.

Before this year, a North Charleston police officer hadn’t been shot in the line of duty since 1985, when Officer Tony Way was slain.

But in 2012, two officers have been wounded under similar circumstances.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 14, Officer David Winslette was trying to make contact with a man who fit a suspect’s description outside the El Cheapo gas station at 3615 Dorchester Road. The man turned and fired, hitting Winslette’s vest and his knee.

Winslette managed to radio dispatchers about the incident and inform them of his assailant’s description.

Winslette returned to duty June 20, Pryor said.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.