Local News

Trooper kills driver with handgun during Halifax traffic stop

Posted June 30, 2012
Updated July 2, 2012

— 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.


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  • chuck1947 Jul 5, 2012

    The driver was breaking several laws whitch contributed to hes death, of whitch the gun was a parts. He was driving drunk, it could not legally pruchase a hand gun, was not licensed to carry a conceled hand gun and ignored the instructions of the officer. Don't throw the blame solely on the presence of the hand gun as the cause of this incident. The drunk driver caused his own death. I'm amazed at the restraint of the officer. I would never have let him level the gun at me.

  • kermit60 Jul 2, 2012

    Tcheuchter: Why are you not complaining about the vehicle the guy was driving? They kill far more people than guns and we allow more people to have them than guns. Don't forget the alcohol, that's right up there with vehicles when counting deaths.

  • elringos Jul 2, 2012

    Wow..alchohol was involved. Why don't bust on drinking instead of guns? Much more stupidity linked to drinking than gun ownership.

  • fishon Jul 2, 2012

    Anyone still think its a good idea for every nut that wants a gun can have one?

    i don't think you should have one.

  • Tcheuchter Jul 2, 2012

    Anyone still think its a good idea for every nut that wants a gun can have one?