Local News

Shooting Suspect's Body Found at Car Dealership

Posted August 6, 2007
Updated August 7, 2007

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— A body found Monday morning outside a local car dealership was that of a man sought in the weekend shooting of a city police officer, police said.

Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation were reviewing the case to determine whether the officer killed the man as he fled.

Alexander Damion Whitaker, 20, was wanted in the shooting early Sunday of Senior Officer Darrell Martin.

Martin was shot in the side and in the arm during a traffic stop on Sunset Avenue at the U.S. Highway 301 overpass. He stopped the car after recognizing Whitaker in the back seat as someone who had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on an earlier traffic violation.

Martin was released Monday from Nash General Hospital and was recuperating at home, police said.

A salesman at Premier Ford Lincoln Mercury in Rocky Mount found Whitaker's body at about 9 a.m. Monday in some bushes outside the used-car section of the dealership, police said.

The dealership, at U.S. Highway 64 and U.S. 301 Bypass, is about 100 yards from where Martin was shot.

Police said it was too early to say that Martin killed Whitaker, but they did say the officer was able to fire his weapon at three fleeing suspects after he was shot and fell to the pavement.

Whitaker died of a gunshot wound, police said, declining to state where or how many times he had been shot. The body had been in the bushes outside the car dealership for at least 24 hours, authorities said.

A gun was found near Whitaker's body, police said.

Police also wouldn't say how many shots Martin fired. An initial investigation determined that he hadn't hit anything when he fired, police said.

"We are trying to narrow our scope at this time," said Capt. Martin McCoy.

Two people who were in the car with Whitaker when it was stopped were taken into custody. Eric Harrison and Tyrone Foreman, both of Rocky Mount, have been charged as accessories after the fact of attempted murder in connection with Martin's shooting.

Police were looking for two other people who they said fled from the scene with Whitaker. One was identified as Andre "AJ" McNeil, 22, of 410 Leonard St. in Rocky Mount. The other was described as a black male in his early 20s with a light complexion and medium build, standing about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighing about 180 to 200 pounds.

No charges have been filed against McNeil or the other person, and police have called them "people of interest" who could help piece together the events of Martin's shooting and Whitaker's death.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of either person is asked to call Twin Counties Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111 or the Rocky Mount Police Department at 252-972-1485.