A veteran state trooper in North Carolina was shot dead while making a traffic stop early Wednesday, authorities said.
The deadly confrontation unfolded when Kevin Conner, an 11-year veteran, stopped a pickup truck for speeding in Columbus County just after midnight, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said.
The driver pulled onto the shoulder, and when Conner approached, the driver allegedly fired several shots, authorities said.
The suspected shooter then fled the scene and led police on a car chase, authorities said.
His car became stuck while trying to drive over a railroad crossing, authorities said, so he then fled on foot.
The suspect was found after an "extensive search" and taken into custody without incident, authorities said.
"The Highway Patrol family is mourning the loss of a hero," State Highway Patrol commander Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr. said in a statement.
One of our @NCSHP troopers was fatally shot this morning while protecting and serving his community and state. The suspect is in custody. The entire @NCPublicSafety family appreciates your thoughts, prayers and support. More details, see: https://t.co/3KHrcsrMPE pic.twitter.com/EoQyur9ZMS— NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) October 17, 2018
The @NCSHP and it's @NCPublicSafety family are mourning the loss of one of its troopers who was fatally shot this morning in a traffic stop in Columbus County. More information is forthcoming. pic.twitter.com/q7HsozVkqf— NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) October 17, 2018
The department "will forever be changed by the tragic events," he said. “We ask everyone to please keep Trooper Conner’s family and all who knew him in your thoughts and prayers.”
The suspect has not yet been identified, authorities said, adding that charges are pending.