Officer shot in North Carolina is a West Michigan native

Posted at 7:18 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 19:18:32-05

NORTH CAROLINA -- Police said 27-year-old Nicholas Powell responded as backup to a traffic stop when he was shot on Monday morning. Meanwhile, his grandmother was startled out of her sleep hundreds of miles away in Ravenna.

"You're thinking... are you dreaming? Ya know, and reality sits in," Jeanne Powell said.

Powell said her son, Nick's father, called her 6:30 Monday morning with the disturbing news. The officer is her oldest grandchild and a graduate of Grant High School and Grand Valley State University. Family said he's been shot four times.

"This is his picture when he graduated from the police academy down in North Carolina," Powell pointed out.

The officer's parents are also from Ravenna and rushed to North Carolina to be by their son’s side.

"They were just here a week before Christmas, Nick and Brittany, and he said he's never had to draw his gun in the 5 years of being on there," Powell said.

She added, "Even that night, he didn't draw his gun."

Winston-Salem police say Powell was responding as backup to a traffic stop. The suspect tried to drive off before shooting Powell in both his arms and his chest. Fortunately, he was wearing a bullet proof vest.

Jennie Powell, the officer's mother, spoke with FOX 17 by phone from the hospital.

"If he hadn't been wearing a vest, he wouldn't be with us today," she said.

"We're very proud of him. His wife is very proud of him, and we're just very thankful for all of our friends and family and their support," Jennie Powell said.

The officer's mother said Powell is doing much better and may be able to leave the hospital later this week.
Meantime, police caught their suspect. His mother said despite him being shot four times, officer Powell was able to hold the suspect down.