COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WBTW/WJHl) – A North Carolina state trooper was killed in a shooting in Columbus County early Wednesday morning.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker says trooper, Kevin K. Conner, was shot around 12:15 a.m. while conducting a traffic stop for a speeding violation on U.S. 701 near Sellers Town Road in the Whiteville area of the county.
According to Sgt. Baker, the suspect pulled over his white GMC pickup on the shoulder and when the trooper approached the truck, the suspect fired several shots at the trooper.
Larry Guyton with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office tells our sister station, WNCT, the suspect was caught near Flair Bluff, in a wooded area after a manhunt. He was taken into custody around 4:00 a.m.
“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.”
The suspect’s name has not been released. Charges are pending in this case.
Conner, according to state troopers, was an 11-year veteran.