State trooper is stable after being shot by suspect at traffic stop

mcaulder@newsobserver.comFebruary 18, 2013 

— A State Highway Patrol trooper was shot near the intersection of U.S. 70 and Cheek Road during a routine traffic stop just after 6 p.m. Monday, triggering a multi-county manhunt for a male suspect.

The trooper’s name and rank were not immediately released, but Highway Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Jeff Gordon said the male trooper was based out of Durham. He was taken to Duke Hospital and is in stable condition, Gordon said.

The trooper was shot as he approached the suspect’s car, but Gordon would not confirm how many times the trooper was shot or if he fired back at the suspect.

Law enforcement and emergency services radio communications from Durham and Wake counties indicated the trooper was shot in the face but was conscious and alert when transported for treatment.

The suspect’s vehicle left the shooting scene, traveling west on U.S. 70.

Police scanner traffic was heavy Monday night as multiple law enforcement agencies dispatched personnel to stake out Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 exit ramps and on-ramps while law enforcement helicopters combed the area by air.

Officers were told to look for “newer model” black Nissan Altima with a temporary 30-day-tag.

A car believed to be the one driven by the suspect was later found in the rear parking lot of a restaurant at North Roxboro and St. Paul streets. Officials were reviewing the restaurant’s security cameras late Monday in an attempt to identify the driver.

The suspect was described as a white male in his early 20s with short military-style cropped blonde hair and dressed in a white T-shirt.

Durham Police Department is investigating with the assistance of the State Highway Patrol and the State Bureau of Investigation, Gordon said.

Caulder: 919-829-4758

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