Man shot during Benson bank robbery attempt held on $1 million bond, police say

Johnston County News

BENSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A man who dropped his gun and was shot during an attempted bank robbery in Benson earlier this month is now back in Johnston County and is being held under a $1 million secured bond, police say.

Ronnie Hiram Wessinger Jr., 46, was caught Tuesday night in South Carolina after leaving WakeMed, police said. 

He was shot during the April 2 attempted robbery and eluded authorities after being released from WakeMed earlier on Tuesday, Benson police said.

The attempted robbery happened around 4:45 p.m. at PNC Bank at 400 South Wall Street in downtown Benson.

A civilian shot Wessinger in the ankle and hip as he ran from the scene, police say. Wessinger dropped his gun as he ran outside the bank, police said. 

Wessinger was found by authorities about a block away and taken to WakeMed. 

Benson police attempted to interview Wessinger the day after Wessinger was taken to WakeMed, but he refused to make a statement without a lawyer present. 

As the investigators were leaving that day, they spoke with the nursing staff to see how long Wessinger was slated to be hospitalized. Benson police say Wake County law enforcement were notified of the warrants against Wessinger.

On Tuesday, police took out a second warrant charging him with possession of a firearm by a felon. 

Just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, Benson police said Wessinger was released from the hospital without being taken into custody. 

“The Benson Police Department is currently working with other state and local law enforcement agencies to locate and apprehend Mr. Wessinger,” police said in a release Tuesday. 

Wessinger, of Gaffney, South Carolina, was charged Thursday with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He has a court date set for Friday.

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