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Shots Fired At Henderson County Deputies While Investigating Possible Bear Poaching

Three people were arrested after Henderson County deputies investigating possible bear poaching were fired on.  The sheriff’s office says Hunter Alan Wright, 22, James Bradley Owen, 21, and Owens’s father, James Gary Owen, 49, were arrested shortly after the incident near Mills River Saturday night.  

The deputies were responding to a report of shots being fired near the Mills River Community Center.   That’s in an area the sheriff’s office says is known for wildlife poaching. Shots were fired at the deputies from nearby woods while they searched for the owner of a vehicle that was parked behind the center.

The sheriff's office says the younger Owen refused to comply with deputies’ commands and an altercation occurred as he was placed into custody. He is being charged with first degree attempted murder, felony assault on a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor resisting, delaying or obstructing a government official. He also faces a charge from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for a misdemeanor of placing processed food products as bait for black bears and discharging a firearm from the right-of-way of a state road. 

Wright and Owen’s father are both charged with misdemeanor resisting a public officer.