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‘Not gonna forget it’: Man describes being held hostage inside Gaston County business before officer-involved shooting

A handful of people were inside the store when a man pulled out a gun and would not let anyone leave.
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:08 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:32 PM EST
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Law enforcement officers identified the man who was shot and killed by police on Thursday while holding several people hostage in Gaston County.

He was identified as 54-year-old Chucky Nathaniel Bowden of Cherryville. Bowden is accused of an armed robbery earlier in the day in Cleveland County.

Hours later, Cherryville police encountered him and drove away, leading police on a chase. He then crashed his car and at some point, shots were fired before he got away.

Officers finally found him at the Creekside Market Deli between Cherryville and Bessemer City, where he was holding several customers hostage.

Robert Moorman says at one point he thought his life was about to be over.

He was one of a handful of people inside of this store when a man pulled out a gun and would not let anyone leave.

He says when Bowden first came inside he acted normally and bought a drink.

Once he saw police outside, his behavior turned erratic.

“You have to be very careful what you do, because what I might do, might get everyone shot,” Moorman told WBTV. He said scary thoughts were going through his head.

He said Bowden then pulled a gun out on a customer known as PawPaw.

“He had an arm around PawPaw and a gun up under his jacket, so PawPaw knew there was a gun pressed to his back,” Moorman said.

Moorman said it was about 20 minutes of fear and uncertainty before officers pushed the door open.

Cell phone video from the store owner’s son showed what was going on outside.

“There were two people at the bottom of the door with rifles,” Moorman said. “One speaker was begging for him to drop the gun and come on out.”

When he didn’t drop the gun, Moorman said they shot him.

“Then the police started coming in,” he said. “They drug me out backwards and my feet were bouncing on the road, trying to get me out quick.”

It was a near-death experience he said will stick with him.

“You’re not gonna forget something like that, you’re not gonna forget it,” Moorman said.

He says there were a handful of people inside at the time of the shooting, including at least one child at a point. None of them were seriously hurt.

He says he was actually seated between police and the gunman, so he is grateful he was not caught in any crossfire.

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