Trooper kills driver with handgun during Halifax traffic stop
Posted June 30, 2012
Updated July 2, 2012
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. — A state trooper shot and killed a suspected drunken driver who pulled out a handgun during a traffic stop in Halifax County Friday night, according to the state Highway Patrol.
Sgt. Jeff Gordon said that Trooper Matt W. Pitman stopped the driver of a 2005 Dodge pickup truck for suspected impaired driving around 10:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 158 west of Roanoke Rapids.
Pittman smelled alcohol on the driver – identified as James Russell Moore, 64, of Roanoke Rapids – ordered him out of the pickup, and then realized that Moore had a gun in his pocket, Gordon said. He ordered Moore to lie on the ground and not make a move toward the weapon.
Moore ignored repeated orders from the trooper and then reached into his pocket, pulled out a handgun and pointed it toward the trooper "in a threatening manner," Gordon said. Pittman shot Moore, who died of his injuries after being taken to Halifax Regional Medical Center.
Moore's gun was loaded, authorities said.
Pittman was placed on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. That is standard policy for shootings in which officers are involved.