COLUMBUS Co., NC (WSPA) – A North Carolina trooper has died after he was shot early Wednesday during a traffic stop.
The N.C. Highway Patrol said the trooper stopped a driver for speeding on Highway 701 in Whiteville.
The driver opened fire as the trooper approached the suspect’s pickup truck.
The trooper was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. He’s been identified as Kevin K. Conner. He was an 11-year veteran assigned to Columbus County, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.
The agency said the driver fled after shooting Trooper Conner.
The Highway Patrol said he drove to Fair Bluff – located close to the South Carolina state line – where he led officers on a chase. After his truck became disabled at a railroad crossing, the suspect ran on foot.
One of our @NCSHP troopers was fatally shot this morning while protecting and serving his community and state. The suspect is in custody. The entire @NCPublicSafety family appreciates your thoughts, prayers and support. More details, see: https://t.co/3KHrcsrMPE pic.twitter.com/EoQyur9ZMS— NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) October 17, 2018
The suspect has not been identified at this time.
Authorities say he was apprehended after an extensive search.
WECT reports the suspect was apprehended around 4 a.m. Wednesday after he was surrounded in a wooded area.
Investigators took the suspect to the Columbus County Jail.
“The Highway Patrol family is mourning the loss of a hero and will forever be changed by the tragic events that have occurred. We ask everyone to please keep Trooper Conner’s family and all who knew him in your thoughts and prayers,” Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol, said.
Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks expressed condolences to Trooper Conner’s family.