Orange County road rage shooting injures 4-year-old on Halloween

ORANGE COUNTY, North Carolina – More details of a road rage shooting that injured a 4-year-old child on Halloween are revealed after the suspect had his first court appearance on Tuesday afternoon.

A trip to trick or treat on Halloween has turned into a nightmare for a family, after a 27-year-old father and his young son were caught up in a road rage incident in Orange County.

Investigators say Kelly Brandon Long, 41, of Hurdle Mills, followed a father and child, who were driving for Halloween tricks or treats – and fired a gun multiple times at their vehicle. Police said the father drove away and Long gave chase, leading to a chase in downtown Hillsborough.

Police documents say the chase was caught on security cameras in a neighborhood. Deputies were able to find and arrest Long after a nearby resident shared surveillance video showing Long’s vehicle following that of the father and child.

During the alleged chase, Long’s wife, who was in the car with him, called 911, authorities said.

On Tuesday morning, officials arrested Long, who works with the Orange County Solid Waste Department, and charged him with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman said a bullet passed through the child’s firefighter suit and grazed his skin.

After the chase, the father called 911 from a Shell gas station on Highway 70 just after 7 p.m.

At first the dad didn’t even realize how close his 4-year-old son was to a call, according to Alicia Stemper with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

“Deputies usually ask if anyone has been hurt. And the dad said, ‘No, we’re all fine. We don’t need medical care,’” she said.

Child grazed by bullet in possible road rage incident

It was only then that the deputies noticed a small hole in the shirt of the child’s costume. That’s where they found a small burn on the child’s back from a bullet that went through the trunk, his car seat and his firefighter costume.

Their car was damaged in “several other locations … consistent with being hit by gunfire”, deputies said.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman described the child’s lack of serious injury as a miracle.

“It must have been some kind of divine intervention that it wasn’t much more tragic,” he said.

Long was initially held on a $50,000 secured bond. However, when he appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon, bail was increased to $100,000.

“This behavior poses a substantial risk to the community, which is why I’ve requested a higher bond,” Nieman said.

WRAL News spoke with one of Long’s family members, who said it wasn’t right for him.

Long’s next court date will be next Monday.

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