According to Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman, the Bethlehem Fire Department responded to a grass fire at a location off Icard Ridge Road around 5:30pm. The firefighters heard what was thought to be a gunshot from a nearby residence. Witnesses say they saw a man fire a weapon in the direction of the firefighters. Officers from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and arrested 54 year old Michael Douglas Porter at his residence adjacent to the scene of the fire. He has been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon on emergency personel. He was taken to the Alexander County Detention Center and held under a $20,000 secured bond.
In a conversation with Sheriff Bowman, the weapon used was a 44 caliber black powder pistol. Bowman also indicates that Porter made the 911 call reporting the fire. His motive is uncertain at this time according to the Sheriff. The investigation is ongoing, Porter is scheduled to appear before a judge on July 16th in Taylorsville.
*** Update ***
On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, additional charges were filed in connection with this incident. Porter was charged with two counts of Felony Assault with Deadly Weapon Intent to Kill. His bond increased to $100,000 secured by the Magistrate’s Office.