COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC –
A North Carolina Highway Patrol soldier was shot and killed early Wednesday during a traffic stop in the southeastern part of the state, according to the Department of Public Safety.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker said that soldier Kevin K. Conner was shot dead shortly after midnight when he stopped traffic on US 701 near Sellers Town Road in Columbus.
Update 10: 50 EDT 17 October: The authorities arrested 20-year-old Raheem Cole Dashanell Davis in connection with the killing of Highway Patrol trooper Kevin K. Conner of North Carolina.
Conner was shot dead on Wednesday in a traffic stop in the southeastern part of the state, according to the Public Security Department.
Raheem Cole Dashanell Davis is accused of killing North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper Kevin K. Conner.
(Columbus County Sheriff's Office)
UPDATE 12:25 EDT OCTOBER 17: Following the shooting, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper reported on the loss of Trooper Conner:
"The tragic loss of trooper Kevin Conner of the NC State Highway Patrol weighs heavily on our hearts, and we are always grateful for his devotional service and selfless commitment to protecting the people of North Carolina, and our prayers are with his family and friends and colleagues in law enforcement. "
WRAL -TV reported that Conner was helped save lives after a fierce 2011 head-on collision in Columbus County. The station reported that Conner had used a fire extinguisher to extinguish the flames and that he and another soldier were providing first aid while waiting for paramedics.
Update 9:50 am EDT October 17: Baker said around 12:15 pm, Conner stopped a white GMC pickup truck for a speeding violation on rural US 701. The driver of the truck pulled on his shoulder and fired several shots as the soldier approached, Baker said.
The suspect fled and Conner was brought to a hospital where he died.
Baker said the driver had then gone about 20 miles west to Fair Bluff near the South Carolina State Line, where he had been persecuted by the police. The suspect's truck was blocked on train tracks and the suspect fled on foot. The authorities said the suspect was arrested around 4:00 am after a lengthy search.
The suspect's name has not been released and charges are still pending, according to the authorities.
"The Highway Patrol family mourns 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 keep in their thoughts and prayers the family of Trooper Conner and all who knew him."
Conner was an 11-year veteran employed in the 5th district in Columbus County.
"We extend our deepest condolences to the Trooper Conner family," said Minister of Security Erik A. Hooks. "Trooper Conner was killed while protecting and serving his community, we mourn our loss and continue to support his family, we are grateful for his service and honor the men and women who are in danger every day."
Condolences for the soldier poured out by a number of law enforcement agencies on social media. Baker said the patrol requested that the soldier, his family, and the entire organization remain in their prayers.
"We are saddened in any case because of our loss," he said.
Original Report: The authorities said that the soldier, whose name was not disclosed, was shot shortly after midnight when he made a traffic stop on US 701 near Sellers Town Road in Columbus County, south of Whiteville.
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The soldier was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead
After a lengthy search, the authorities were able to locate the suspect in the nearby Locate forest and take him into custody.
The name of the suspect was not published either.
– Visit WSOCTV.com for the latest in this developing story.