Local News

Trooper, Others To Be Honored After I-95 Shooting

Posted January 10, 2006

— A trooper shot in the line of duty will be honored by the state of North Carolina, as will two other troopers and four people who helped the fallen lawman

Trooper J.C. Horniak will be presented with the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety's Distinguished Service Award at a ceremony in Fayetteville on Wednesday. Troopers J.A. Wollard and J.E. Gurganus -- who helped save the life of Horniak after a suspect shot him Nov. 28 during a traffic stop -- will be presented with the department's Commendation Award.

"After being shot five times, Trooper Horniak returned to his patrol car to call for assistance. He demonstrated true professionalism by remaining calm and composed while providing a description of the suspect vehicle," said CC&PS Secretary Bryan E. Beatty. "Trooper Horniak is a hero and he is to be commended for his actions."

One local law-enforcement officer and three citizens will be recognized for their actions on the morning of the shooting. Sgt. Richard Spry from the Belmont Police Department, Mark Moore, Thurmond Suggs and James Hill will receive a Certificate of Appreciation from Gov. Michael F. Easley for their actions in assisting Horniak and law enforcement after the shooting.

"Trooper Horniak's actions demonstrated his determination to survive and to capture those who shot him. This level of commitment exemplifies what it means to be a State Trooper - to protect others," said Col. W. Fletcher Clay, Highway Patrol commander.

Two suspects -- 40-year-old Marvin Bell Johnson and 21-year-old Nichelle Steele -- have both been charged in Horniak's shooting on Interstate 95 in Cumberland County.

Related Stories:

  • November 28, 2005:

    State Trooper In Critical, But Stable Condition After I-95 Shooting

  • November 29, 2005:

    I-95 Same Scene As Fatal Double Shooting Nearly 8 Years Ago

  • November 30, 2005:

    Bulletproof Vests Not Required For Most State Law Officers

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