Zebulon Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Firearm Offense After Shooting at Officer During High-Speed Chase

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Zebulon man who fired at a Wendell Police Department (WPD) officer during a high-speed chase was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Cedrick Tyler Armstrong, 37, was previously convicted on November 18, 2021, following a two-day jury trial before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III.

Michael Easley, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, commented: “Today, Mr. Armstrong received a well-deserved sentence.  His conduct endangered innocent members of our community and directly threatened the lives of those brave law enforcement officers who have sworn to protect us.  My office will not tolerate those who threaten the safety and security of our district.”

According to court documents, on October 12, 2018, an Investigator with the Wendell Police Department conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle where Armstrong was the front seat passenger. After a baggie from the glove box field-tested positive for cocaine, police tried to remove the driver and Armstrong from the vehicle.  The Investigator was able to secure one handcuff to the driver’s left arm before a struggle ensued and the driver fled the stop in the vehicle, dragging the Investigator approximately 25 feet. The Investigator sustained injuries but was able to pursue the vehicle along with other Wendell Police Officers.  The driver led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through multiple counties reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Several minutes into the chase, approximately nine shots were fired from the passenger side of the vehicle at a pursuing Wendell PD officer, and the chase was terminated shortly thereafter for public and officer safety. A search of the area where the shots were fired located a spent 9mm shell casing.

Armstrong and the driver avoided law enforcement for several hours but were found and arrested later that night at a residence on Beauty Avenue in Raleigh, NC. A search of the residence found a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine hidden in the reservoir of the toilet. Forensic examination of the gun and a shell casing recovered from the area where the shots were fired confirmed that the gun found at the residence on Beauty Avenue fired that casing. The handcuffs, a handcuff key, drugs, and the vehicle keys were also recovered from the residence on Beauty Avenue where the driver and Armstrong were apprehended. Additionally, Investigators executed a search warrant on the vehicle after it was recovered and found another 9mm round matching the same make and caliber of the ammunition found with the gun at Beauty Avenue and the shell casing recovered from the scene of the shooting. A review of Armstrong’s phone also recovered text messages in which he admitted to shooting at law enforcement. Armstrong also faces a number of pending state charges for the incident.

Michael Easley, Jr. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Wendell Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the Wake County Sherriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), the Raleigh Police Department, and the Zebulon Police Department. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Fitzgerald and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Stephany prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:19-CR-00450-D.