Spring Hope, N.C. — 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.