Local News

Authorities Identify Men in Fayetteville Officer Shooting

Posted March 27, 2007

— A Fayetteville officer was out of the hospital Tuesday, a day after he was shot on the job, and two men charged with trying to kill him were identified.

Officer Douglas Austin was on patrol at around 3 a.m. Monday when he noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area. Authorities said two men—Robert H. Taylor, 51, of Newport Road and Steven Bethea, 39, of Dorchester Drive—eventually fled from their vehicle, with Austin chasing after them.

Investigators said Taylor shot Austin in the chest behind an apartment on Galveston Street. Authorities said Austin's bulletproof vest probably saved his life.

A Fort Bragg soldier, who did not want to be identified, assisted a second officer in apprehending Taylor. Bethea was captured a short time later.

Taylor faces numerous charges including first-degree attempted murder and felonious assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury. Bethea is charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and failure to appear on a misdemeanor larceny charge. Both men are being held in the Cumberland County Jail.

Austin is the son of Fayetteville City Councilwoman Lois Kirby. His father is a baseball coach at Methodist University.


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  • Sean Mar 31, 2007

    Robert had done some things in the past, but does not have the capacity to kill an Officer of the Law. This is one of those scenarios that pits a reformed citizen against the legal system. Things look really bad for him, but if you met Robert you would agree that this was an act of desperation. He got hemmed-up in something that got out of control and couldn't get away from it.

  • COPs eye Mar 27, 2007

    Question if the Officer had killed one of the suspects would the community be rallying for or AGAINST the Officer??? Race is always a factor. Especially to the racist people wether black or white. Fact is the suspects attacked the officer in the performace of his duty. Who cares if they are male, female, black, white, or hispanic? Only the ACLU and other blinded by race organizations. If the Officer would have been killed the community would have lost an asset to the community. Fact is some people drain a community and some add to it. Law Enforcement Officers do the job that 99% of the people in this country can NOT do and we are always scrutinized for it. I am glad that once again brother was saved by wearing his vest. Speedy recovery we need you out there.

  • give me no quarter Mar 27, 2007

    Dew rag too tight. It happens. LOL. Rot in prison.

  • BottomLine Mar 27, 2007

    Worthless pair of turds ...

  • tarheel1980 Mar 27, 2007

    Anybody that shoots a cop should be dealt with severely. This has nothing to do with race or the Duke lacrosse fiasco. This has to do with the illegal activity of these individuals and their attempt to kill a cop.

  • triangle citizen Mar 27, 2007

    Very true

  • bronzegoddess40 Mar 27, 2007

    Regardless of what is said, race is just something that is always going to be and there are going to be bias because some people continue to think in the old ways. Until all of us black, white etc can sit down and truly and open minded discuss race, then all of these comments are a waste of time.

  • Gnathostomata Mar 27, 2007

    What we really have here are two grown men (39 and 51)that have been around and around the legal system and continually released to commit more crimes until someone almost got killed. The policeman came close this time, saved only because he was wearing a bullet proof vest...Let's keep track of these repeat offenders and send a message to the governor that we need our towns and cities back, and criminals need to stay in jail after the first offense but definitely after the second.

  • Corvette Sales Mar 27, 2007

    You got a point.

  • Gnathostomata Mar 27, 2007

    I guess it is just a shame that white cops only chase white perps and black cops chase black perps so there is no case of race being an issue.