A North Carolina State Trooper was fatally shot Wednesday morning near the North/South Carolina border.
The shooting took place around fifteen minutes after midnight in Columbus County, when a suspect -who had been stopped by law enforcement for speeding- fired several shots at Trooper Kevin Conner before fleeing in his vehicle.
Fatally struck in the shooting, Conner was found in the roadway and was subsequently rushed to the hospital, but did not survive.
According to a statement by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, local and state law enforcement combed the area and eventually tracked down the suspect, whose vehicle became hung-up on nearby railroad tracks, forcing him to bail on foot. The suspect fled into the woods and was captured four hours later..
“Local police attempted to stop the vehicle and the driver fled, initiating a brief pursuit. The driver of the pickup then fled on foot after his vehicle became disabled while attempting to cross over a railroad crossing,” the statement read. “After an extensive search, authorities located the driver and placed him in custody without incident. He was transported to the Columbus County Jail by investigators.”
Conner had been with the North Carolina Highway Patrol for eleven years, assigned to Troop B, District 5.
“The Highway Patrol family is mourning the loss of a hero and will forever be changed by the tragic events that have occurred”, said Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “We ask everyone to please keep Trooper Conner’s family and all who knew him in your thoughts and prayers.”
The suspect is expected to be identified at a later date with charges pending upon further investigation.
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