N.C. firefighter-EMT recovering after being shot by off-duty cop

North Catawba Fire and Rescue's Brian Fagen has had five blood transfusions and four surgeries since the incident, which took place at gathering with friends


News-Topic, Lenoir, N.C.

LENOIR, N.C. — "Please remember FF-EMT Brian Fagen in your thoughts and prayers," states the North Catawba Fire and Rescue sign.

Fagen's story has caught local attention because Fagen, who is 19 years old, serves as a firefighter for North Catawba Fire Department and was accidentally shot by a friend, Taylor Welborn, 26, who is a police officer with the town of Hudson. Welborn returned to active duty with Hudson Police Department on Wednesday, May 4.

A 9mm bullet pierced the left side of Fagen's torso, near the liver, when a gun being held by Welborn reportedly accidentally discharged, according to Capt. Aaron Barlowe, Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.

"Hey, we have an accidental shooting at our house," said the caller in the 911 call on April 20 at 10:07 p.m.

Fagen and Welborn were at a gathering of four friends at a home located at 3080 Blowing Rock Blvd. when the shooting happened.

"Please. He's shot in the stomach, chest area," continued the caller. "OK. Please hurry."

According to the 911 call, there were at least two law enforcement officers present when the shooting happened.

"We have two officers here that they're friends," said the caller.

According to Barlowe, all four individuals at the scene stated it was an accidental shooting.

Details leading up to the shooting, including why a loaded gun was aimed in the direction of Fagen or why a handgun was even present among friends, have not been shared with the public.

Alcohol was not a contributing factor, according to Barlowe.

Fagan was transported to Carolinas Medical Center by helicopter.

Fagan has undergone five blood transfusions and four surgeries, according to a previous Facebook post by Fagan's mother.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Fagan by Abby Kale.

"He is in a lot of pain. And he is worried about his future, his job, his grades and his future career," stated Abby Kale in the "Go Fund Me Page."

Welborn, who has been employed as a patrol officer with the Hudson police since October, 2018, was off-duty at the time of the incident. The gun was Welborn's personal firearm.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation assisted the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office with the investigation.

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(c)2022 the News-Topic (Lenoir, N.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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