Police: Officer may have been shot with his own gun

Bullard (WCIV / File)

By Natalie

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Under Sgt. Eddie Bullard's t-shirt, a small red, round mark stood out. It's where the bullet hit his bullet proof vest Wednesday morning.

"There's bruising here," he said.

Bullard was resting Thursday following his release from the hospital after the close call.{}

Police say Sgt. Bullard got out of his patrol car early Wednesday next to Carpet Wholesalers at 6929 Rivers Avenue. He was reportedly attempting to get the attention of a suspect. Around 5 a.m. he radioed he'd been shot. According to an incident report, the shooting followed a struggle for his firearm with a second person that grabbed him from behind. The original suspect, he said, ran away.{}

Officials with the North Charleston Police Department say Bullard very well could have been shot with his own gun. North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said a ballistics analysis will be performed to see if such was the case.

According to the report, Bullard began to lose grip on his weapon and was able to drop his magazine out of the firearm before he was shot.

A major search of the area took place, but no one has been arrested. NCPD Public Information Officer Spencer Pryor said Wednesday that Bullard is a 15-year veteran of the department.

In 2009, Bullard was recognized by the Tri County Victims Council. The nomination by a member stated Detective Bullard always made himself available to advocates and therapists on and off-duty.

"He can be counted on to go above and beyond his duties to ensure child safety," the nomination stated.

Police have released very few details about the incident, and Police Chief Jon Zumalt declined a request for an interview Thursday.{}

Carpet Wholesalers general manager Mike Partyka said crime has gotten worse in the area over the last several years.

Police responded to Carpet Wholesalers on April 1 after an employee reported the A/C unit had been stolen. According to a police report, the employee reported someone had gone to the back of the store overnight and cut the A/C unit from the back of the building. It was then pushed off the wooden unit holder.

The report states there was no surveillance video of the theft and no one was arrested. Partyka says he's glad police have increased patrols but wonders about some of their policies.

"Why don't they ride two in a car when they patrol?" he said. "There's lots of foot traffic out here at night."

SLED is now investigating, which is protocol when there's an officer-involved shooting.

Check back with ABC News 4 as we continue to develop this story.

* ABC News 4's Brian Troutman contributed to this report.

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