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Update: NC Highway Patrol Trooper Killed in Columbus County

By Erin Smith

Update: The North Carolina Highway Patrol has identified the Trooper killed in the line of duty as Kevin Conner.

According to Michael Baker, a spokesperson with the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Trooper Conner is an 11-year veteran of the North Carolina Highway Patrol Troop B District 5 in Columbus County.

According to a release from the Highway Patrol, “At approximately 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday, October 17, a state trooper stopped a white GMC pickup truck for a speeding violation on US 701 near Sellers Town Rd in Columbus County.  The driver of the pickup pulled over onto the shoulder and the trooper made his initial approach.  The driver of the pickup then fired several shots, striking the trooper.”

Baker said the suspect traveled in the direction of Fair Bluff and his vehicle became disabled on a set of railroad tracks and he fled on foot, after Fair Bluff attempted to stop the vehicle. The suspect was apprehended a short time later.

“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 shared his condolences, “The tragic loss of Trooper Kevin Conner of the NC 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.”

The suspect will be identified in a forthcoming release.  Charges are pending a further investigation. 

Previous story:

A North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper with Troop B in Columbus County was shot and killed early Wednesday morning following a traffic stop.

According to Michael Baker, a spokesperson with the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the shooting ocurred at 12:15 a.m. on US Highway 701 near Sellers Town Road in Columbus County.

The trooper was transported to the hospital and later died as a result of his injuries.

The suspect was apprehended in the woods near Fair Bluff.

The name of the suspect has not been released at this time. will have more on this developing story as details become available.

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