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Deputies charge man with attempted murder

MILLS RIVER — Henderson County sheriff’s deputies charged a 21-year-old Horse Shoe man with attempted murder after an altercation in which they also shot his dog, which had bitten a deputy, the sheriff's office said.

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Deputies were dispatched to the South Mills River Road area at 8:05 Saturday night following a report of someone firing a gun from a truck in the roadway. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission was also contacted due to concerns and a history of wildlife poaching in that area. Henderson County deputies located the unoccupied vehicle behind the Mills River Community Center building. As deputies tried to locate the occupants of the vehicle, shots were fired from the woods behind the community center in their direction. Following further communication, two male suspects exited the woods.

Hunter Alan Wright, 22, of 626 Old Highway 64 in Etowah, was taken into custody without incident. Wright was charged with misdemeanor resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. He was released from the Henderson County Jail on a $500 secured bond.

James Bradley Owen, 21, of 1132 Gash Road in Horse Shoe, refused to comply with deputies’ commands and an altercation occurred as he was placed into custody.Owen was arrested for felony first degree attempted murder, felony assault on a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor resisting, delaying or obstructing a government official.

"Shots were fired above the deputy's head during the encounter," sheriff's Maj. Frank Stout said. "Suffice it to say it was not a very wise decision to try to fire above the deputies' heads that were responding to the original call. It was a pretty severe encounter with him, not being compliant with the deputies' orders."

Owen received additional misdemeanor charges from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for allegedly placing processed food products as bait for black bears and for discharging a firearm from the right-of-way of a state road. He was jailed under a $100,500 bond.

As Owen fought with deputies during the arrest, a dog in his company bit a deputy and was shot. Owen’s father, James Gary Owen, 49, of 1132 Gash Road in Horse Shoe, came to the scene and was also arrested for misdemeanor resisting a public officer. He was released from the Henderson County Jail on a $400 secured bond.