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Nash County trooper killed trying to stop high-speed chase

Posted September 8, 2012
Updated September 11, 2012

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— A Nash County trooper was killed Saturday morning while laying out stop sticks during a high-speed chase that went through parts of Wake and Nash counties, authorities said. 

According to the state Highway Patrol, trooper Bobby Gene DeMuth, a 12-year-veteran stationed in Rocky Mount, died when he was struck on U.S. Highway 64 near Spring Hope in Nash County shortly after 8 a.m. 

"We're all family. We're all brothers, and that's why it is so tragic to have to report on something that occurred this morning," said First Sergeant Jeff Gordon, the Highway Patrol's public information officer. "When something like this happens, it really brings to light and you really do realize the dangers that are involved. We lost an invaluable member today." 

Authorities apprehended Christopher McCoy Rodgers, 40, of 102 Outterbridge Road in Williamston, shortly after DeMuth was hit. Rodgers was taken to Nash General Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

A Raleigh police officer started following Rodgers, who was driving a 1995 Nissan 200SX on Interstate 440 near the U.S Highway 264 bypass, around 7:45 a.m.

The chase began a few minutes later on U.S. Highway 264 Bypass near Wendell and ended about 20 miles away on N.C. Highway 64, near N.C. Highway 581 in Spring Hope, around 8:30 a.m., authorities said.

The Raleigh Police Department took a secondary role in the pursuit once Wake County sheriff's deputies joined and withdrew from the chase in Franklin County as agents from other departments took over.

Authorities said that prior to the chase, Rodgers forcibly restrained a woman and her 21-month-old child shortly after midnight Saturday morning and barricaded them into a room. The woman's ATM card was stolen and used in the 800 block of South New Hope Road, authorities said. The woman managed to free herself and call for help.

Raleigh police said Rodgers was charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count each of burglary, common law robbery and obtaining property by false pretenses in connection with the Friday night incident.

U.S. 64 was closed for nearly eight hours after the collision that killed DeMuth.

Visitation for him will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount. His funeral will be held at the church Wednesday at 11 a.m.

34 Comments

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  • dontgetmestarted Sep 11, 2012

    Prayers to Gene's wife, son, mother, sister, brother, friends and fellow LEO's who will greatly miss him. He was definitely one of the good guys. Always grinning and ready to make anyone not only smile but a have a big belly laugh on any given day. Loved you like a brother, Gene. RIP.

  • dontgetmestarted Sep 11, 2012

    Let me try again. Officer DeMuth was NOT in the road. Officer DeMuth was run down intentionally while standing outside his car. Officer DeMuth were trying to PREVENT INNOCENT PEOPLE from being injured by putting stop sticks in the road to STOP the SPEEDING DRIVER who was, I believe, in fact going the wrong way down 64bypass. Had Officer DeMuth BEEN SPEEDING I would imaging that 12yrs as a NCSHP Officer as well as previous yrs serving as a Wilson Co. Deputy Sheriff and Edgecombe Co. Deputy Sheriff would qualify him quite capable of handling a vehicle at a high rate of speed. No so sure of the driver that WAS actually speeding. Did I miss anything Charm? Please enlighten me how the blame falls back on Trooper DeMuth. SMH.

  • deastwood1 Sep 10, 2012

    Sad story when the officer thought he could "high speed chase" and catch the criminal. When will the officers learn from high speed chasing. It costed it him his life, and now I know it was not really worth it. Get other officers involved. Speeding is not the way to go. Just glad innocent people was not involved are killed in this. Charmclainlovesdogs2

    The trooper was innocent and he was killed. Not just killed but murdered by this man who purposely ran him over while the trooper (who was not involved in the chase) put out stop sticks.

  • shortcake53 Sep 10, 2012

    Can someone please get it through Charm's head that the officer was NOT IN A CAR OR SPEEDING WHEN HE WAS HIT????? Some of these comments are ridiculous to start with , but those take the prize.

  • Glenn Miller Sep 10, 2012

    @charmcclainlovesdogs2, Trooper was speeding? He wasn't even in his car when he was hit! You are making yourself look stupid with your comments.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 10, 2012

    morning while laying out stop sticks during a high-speed chase

    Are officers aware of the danger of being in the road themselves and no kind of protection for them? Rules of the roads, I would think would certainly apply to them as the people that is not officers.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 10, 2012

    and yet even with your minimal knowledge of events you are still able to second guess and criticize.

    thepeopleschamp

    :)

  • thepeopleschamp Sep 10, 2012

    "When will the officers learn from high speed chasing. It costed it him his life, and now I know it was not really worth it. Get other officers involved." charmcclainlovesdogs2

    The Trooper was the other officer involved. This Trooper was not in the chase, if that even matters. He was murdered on the side of the road trying to stop it, and yet even with your minimal knowledge of events you are still able to second guess and criticize.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 10, 2012

    the driver DID in fact hit and kill the Trooper so you'd think 2nd degree murder would be the charge...

    The officer certainly should not have been speeding. He did not have the experience to do so.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 10, 2012

    while laying out stop sticks during a high-speed chase that went through parts of Wake and Nash counties,

    Sad story when the officer thought he could "high speed chase" and catch the criminal. When will the officers learn from high speed chasing. It costed it him his life, and now I know it was not really worth it. Get other officers involved. Speeding is not the way to go. Just glad innocent people was not involved are killed in this.

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