On Sunday September 4, 2022 at 11:32 am, the Gaston County Police responded to the 4000 block of Stoney Oaks Drive in the southwestern portion of Gaston County in reference to a vehicle left abandoned on private property.
When Gaston County Police Officers arrived, a silver Lincoln Town Car was located off of a private roadway. The vehicle appeared to have been wrecked and was stuck down a slight embankment. Officers checked the area for the driver or any passengers. No one was located. A loaded assault style rifle was observed in the car. County Police processed the vehicle and recovered the unsecured weapon for public safety. The vehicle was towed from the property.
A second call was placed by at approximately 3:23 pm to Gaston County Communications. The reporting person stated they heard gunshots and saw a suspicious subject in the same area where the vehicle was previously located. Officers responded back to the area. A search was conducted but no one was located.
At around 4:30 pm, officers responded to the 4000 block of Stoney Oaks Drive when a reporting person called in stating an unknown subject was holding a gun to their father’s head in a garage of a residence. The suspect fled on foot. A Gaston County Police K9 Unit was utilized to track the suspect. During the track, the K9 team located a second assault style rifle and bag hidden a short distance from where the Lincoln Town Car was located earlier during the day. As officers continued searching for the suspect, the K9 Unit alerted on an abandoned car in the immediate area. At this point, the suspect fired multiple times upon the K9 Unit and three police officers. Officers returned fire, striking the suspect. The suspect complied with the officers’ commands. Officers then rendered immediate medical aid. The suspect was transported to CaroMont Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released. No officers were injured during the incident.
For transparency purposes, the State Bureau of Investigations is conducting an investigation into the officer involved shooting. Body Worn Camera footage will not be released until the Gaston County District Attorney’s Office and State Bureau of Investigations have been consulted.
The suspect has been identified as:
Matthew Curtis Buford
900 Junius St.
Gastonia, NC 28054
Mr. Buford has been charged with:
- 4 counts of attempted 1st degree murder
- 1 count of robbery with a dangerous weapon
- 1 count of 2nd degree kidnapping
- 1 count of assault by pointing a gun
- 1 count of assault on a law enforcement K9
- 1 count of possession of a firearm by a felon
Anyone with information pertinent to the investigation is encouraged to call Detective J. P. Brienza at the Gaston County Police at 704-866-3320. Information can also be reported through Crimestoppers at 704-861-8000. Information leading to the arrest of involved parties can result in a reward up to $1,000.