Downtown Wilmington shooting: Man hospitalized as suspect leads police on car chase

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One arrested, charged in weekend shooting death of 20-year-old in Wilmington

A downtown Wilmington shooting left one man hospitalized while the alleged shooter led police on a multi-county, high-speed car chase early Monday, police said.

Kendrick Jihad Johnson, 27, is charged with first-degree attempted murder and felony fleeing to elude arrest in the shooting and chase that began about 1:30 a.m. in the 600 block of North Third Street.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, officers were sent to the area on a ShotSpotter alert. There, police found a 36-year-old man with gunshot wounds lying on a sidewalk near the Wilson Center. Officers rendered medical aid before the victim was taken to the hospital by first responders, the release said. The man's name was withheld pending notification of family.

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As other officers responded to the scene, they saw a vehicle with no headlights leaving the shooting area. An attempt to stop the car near North Fourth and Cowan streets was unsuccessful, and a chase ensued, police said.

At some point, the vehicle drove head-on at law enforcement but evaded capture, the release said.

Police pursued the vehicle onto MLK Jr. Parkway and then onto Interstate 40, heading west out of Wilmington, according to the release. Police notified law enforcement in surrounding counties and they joined in the pursuit. At times the chase reached speeds in excess of 100 mph, according to archived scanner traffic.

The car was stopped near the county line between Pender and Duplin counties after police used a PIT maneuver, a move in which law enforcement bumps the rear of the fleeing vehicle, causing it to spin out.

According to police, once the vehicle stopped, the driver emerged, discarded a gun and started running away. He was stopped by a Wilmington Police Department K-9, the release said.

Johnson was booked into the New Hanover County jail after being cleared by New Hanover Regional Medical Center. He is being held without bail.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3609 or use the WPD app or by sending an anonymous text message to 847411 (Tip411) and including the keyword WPDNC.

Reporter Emma Dill can be reached at 910-343-2096 or

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Wilmington shooting leads to car chase and leaves a man in hospital