(WHITEVILLE, N.C.) – A driver opened fire on a North Carolina State Trooper at a traffic stop early Wednesday and killed the 11-year-old Highway Patrol veteran, authorities said. The suspect was arrested after a chase
At 12:15, the policeman stopped the white pickup truck on suspicion of speeding on a highway in rural Columbus County in southwestern Whiteville, said Highway Patrol First Sgt. Michael Baker. Baker said the driver shot Trooper Kevin Conner as he approached.
"The driver of this vehicle fired several shots and hit the soldiers," Baker told reporters.
The suspect fled and Conner was taken to a hospital died.
Baker said the driver then drove in a hunt approximately 20 miles west (32 kilometers) to Fair Bluff near the South Carolina state border, where authorities were pursuing him. The truck was obstructed on railroad tracks in the city, and the suspect fled on foot. The authorities said the suspect was arrested around 4:00 am after a lengthy search.
Baker said the man, whose name was not immediately released, was held in Columbus County Prison until he was indicted.
The Highway Patrol said the Columbus County-based Trooper was an 1
"Many will say he was the nicest man you would ever meet Kevin and his family would agree," the nearby Buren County Sheriff Office said on Facebook.
WRAL-TV reported that Conner had helped save lives after a fierce 2011 head-on collision in Columbus County. A WRAL article from that year said Conner used a fire extinguisher to extinguish the flames, and he and another soldier provided first aid before paramedics arrived.