Local News

NC trooper receives Purple Heart honor after being shot

Posted May 20, 2014

Trooper Michael Potts, center, with North Carolina Highway Patrol Commander Col. William Grey, left, and Gregory Baker, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety's Law Enforcement Division (Courtesy of North Carolina State Highway Patrol)

— A trooper shot in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop has received the North Carolina State Highway Patrol's Purple Heart Award

Michael Potts was among the three dozen civilians and Highway Patrol employees recognized by the agency during a ceremony Tuesday morning.

"Each recipient went beyond the normal call of duty and demonstrated outstanding judgment," Highway Patrol Commander Col. William Grey said. "These employees and civilians are to be commended on their actions and contributions to the citizens of the state of North Carolina and to our department."

The Purple Heart Award recognizes those assaulted or injured while performing his or her assigned duties.

On Feb. 18, 2013, Potts had stopped Mikel Edward Brady for a seatbelt violation when Brady shot him several times at close range.

Severely injured, Potts was able to make it back to his patrol car and send out a description of the shooter, triggering a large-scale manhunt that eventually led to Brady's arrest. Brady later pleaded guilty to shooting Potts and is serving 19 to 24 years in prison for the crime.

Potts has since returned to work after undergoing several surgeries and physical therapy sessions.

Thirty-five other people also were recognized Tuesday in other areas:

Meritorious Service Award for outstanding service and accomplishment:

  • David T. Sizemore, network technician – Lexington
  • Leslie H. Manning, mechanic supervisor – Raleigh
  • Trooper James L. Hager, Troop B District 9 – Wilmington

Appreciation Award for significantly contributing to the Highway Patrol's success and mission:

  • Jimmy Maness, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Asheboro

Valor Group Award for outstanding judgment, courage, personal bravery and a selfless act of heroism:

  • First Sgt. Douglas B. Amos, Troop F District 1 – Morganton
  • Sgt. Mark L. Cline, Troop F District 1 – Morganton
  • Trooper Carroll R. Hallyburton, Troop F District 1 – Morganton
  • Trooper Aaron K. Johnson, Troop F District 1 – Morganton
  • Trooper Russell V. McGee, III, Troop F District 9 – Conover
  • Trooper Kyle B. Robinson, Troop F District 1 – Morganton
  • Trooper Joshua L. Shuffler, Troop F District 1 – Morganton
  • Trooper Daniel J. Wakefield. Troop F District 1 – Morganton

Humanitarian Award for an employee's outstanding volunteer public service that significantly contributes to individuals, groups, organizations or communities in North Carolina:

  • Trooper Gregory N. Gentieu, Troop F District 1 – Morganton
  • Trooper Lynn T. Porcher, Troop C District 1 – Tarboro

Samaritan Award for assisting in any event of an exceptional nature to save the life of another person or to prevent injury:

  • Sgt. Eric L. Hunt, Troop C District 7 – Durham
  • Trooper Kenneth R. Burroughs, Troop D District 6 – Asheboro
  • Trooper Anthony R. McLain, Troop F District 4 – Taylorsville
  • Trooper Stephen W. O’Shields, Troop D District 5 – Graham

Meritorious and Appreciation Group Service Award: Patrol Stroll Committee:

  • Lt. Donna R. Carter, Headquarters – Raleigh
  • First Sgt. Ricky P. Hooks, Training Academy – Raleigh
  • First Sgt. Jeffrey L. Miller, Troop G District 5 – Waynesville
  • Trooper Lawrence W. McKeithan, Headquarters – Raleigh
  • Trooper Jon M. Gurganus, Troop B District 4 – Kenansville
  • J. Howard Swain, Nags Head
  • Thomas Caves, Garner
  • Marcia Culler, Mebane
  • Lisa Evans, Clayton
  • Karen Tew, Clayton
  • Julie Ann Gouveia-Pisano, Holly Springs

Samaritan Group Award:

  • Trooper Frank E. Odell, Troop F District 4 – Statesville
  • Trooper Leevan I. Tuckler, Troop F District 4 – Statesville
  • Doris C. Godbey, office assistant, Troop E District 3 – Salisbury

Samaritan & Appreciation Group Award:

  • Trooper Stephen A. Parker, Troop F District 9 – Lincolnton
  • Deputy Bryan S. Loflin, (Catawba County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Robbie J. Lowman, Maiden

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  • laurenpotts3 May 21, 2014

    So proud of you! This is a well deserved honor that I am glad you are here and able to except!

  • cdurham May 20, 2014

    Thank you for being willing to put yourself out there to protect the rest of us.

  • stymieindurham May 20, 2014

    Well deserved brother.

  • Rick Price May 20, 2014
    user avatar

    Thank you for your service Trooper Pott's. Be safe out there.