While chasing a shooting suspect, a Wilmington police officer was jumped and beaten by a crowd of bystanders early Friday morning.
Officer Nelson Galan freed himself from the attackers by pulling his gun and firing into the ground, which dispersed the assailants.Police officials, calling it a life-threatening situation, said Galan was justified in pulling his 9mm pistol.
The melee started after police officers responded to a report of a shooting about 4 a.m. When police arrived, they found David D. Jackson, 22, of Wilmington shot in the left shoulder.
Galan found the suspect in a crowd of people and tried to arrest him, but the man resisted and ran, said Lt. G.R. Lesher.
As Galan gave chase, about six people standing around blocked the officer's path and started beating him. During the scuffle, Galan was struck in the head with a bottle. He was later treated at a hospital and released.
Three people accused of attacking the officer were arrested at the scene, but police don't know who hit Galan with the bottle.
Jackson, the shooting victim, also was treated and released.