FAIR BLUFF, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper is dead following a shooting Wednesday morning.
Trooper Kevin K. Conner was shot around 12:15 a.m. while conducting a traffic stop on U.S. 701 near Sellers Town Road in Columbus County.
The driver of a pickup truck, later identified as Raheem Davis, 20, pulled over onto the shoulder after a traffic stop was initiated for a speeding violation.
When Conner made his approach to the vehicle, the driver fired several shots, hitting Conner in the head and torso, authorities said.
Conner tried to give a description of the suspect vehicle to a bystander who called 911.
Conner died from his injuries on the way to a local hospital, Baker said. Conner is survived by a wife and two children.
Davis fled the scene following the shooting, officials said.
Local police attempted to stop the vehicle and began a brief chase. After his truck became disabled while trying to cross over a railroad track, the driver fled on foot.
Larry Guyton with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect was then surrounded in the woods near Fair Bluff following a manhunt before he was taken into custody around 4 a.m.
Investigators have not found the gun but have recovered a cell phone.
Davis appeared in court Wednesday where he was formally charged with first-degree murder.
He was denied bond and is scheduled to appear in court again Nov. 6.
“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.”
“We extend our deepest sympathy to Trooper Conner’s family”, said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. “Trooper Conner was killed while protecting and serving his community. We mourn our loss and will continue to support his family. We are grateful for his service and honor the men and women who serve in harm’s way, each and every day.”
Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement regarding Conner’s death:
“The tragic loss of Trooper Kevin Conner of the N.C. State Highway Patrol weighs heavily on our hearts. We are forever grateful for his devoted service and selfless commitment to protecting the people of North Carolina. Our prayers are with his family and friends and his colleagues in law enforcement.”
On Twitter, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office posted:
“Our hearts are heavy and saddened this morning as NC State Trooper Conner was fatally shot early this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the @NCSHP and his family! “Greater love has no one than this: To lay down ones life for his friends. John 15:13”