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Authorities: Shooting Suspect Committed Suicide

Posted August 7, 2007

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— A 20-year-old man who shot a police officer Sunday during a traffic stop later killed himself outside a local car dealership, authorities said Tuesday.

Alexander Damion Whitaker was found dead Monday morning in some bushes around the used-car section of Premier Ford Lincoln Mercury, at U.S. Highway 64 Business and U.S. Highway 301 Bypass in Rocky Mount.

The State Medical Examiner's Office in Greenville determined Whitaker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, authorities said.

The finding has been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation, which is reviewing the Sunday morning shooting involving Whitaker and Senior Officer Darrell Martin.

Martin was shot in the side and in the arm during a traffic stop on Sunset Avenue (u.S. 64 Business) at the U.S. 301 overpass. He reported that he had 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, police said.

The car dealership is about 100 yards from where Martin was shot.

Police said Monday that Martin was able to fire at three fleeing suspects after he was shot and fell to the pavement. They haven't disclosed how many shots he fired, and they said their initial investigation determined he hadn't hit anything when he fired.

A gun was found near Whitaker's body, which had been at the car dealership for more than 24 hours before it was found, police said.

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.

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