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Man, woman sought in shooting of Roanoke Rapids officer

Posted November 17, 2010
Updated November 18, 2010

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— Investigators were searching for a man and woman wanted in connection with the shooting of a Roanoke Rapids police officer during a traffic stop along Interstate 95 South Wednesday afternoon. 

Authorities said the officer pulled over a green 1997 Geo Prism at mile marker 172, just southeast of Roanoke Rapids, at 2:24 p.m. As he started talking with the female passenger, the male driver pulled out a gun and shot the officer four times, then drove away.

Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Jeff Hinton said the officer was taken to Halifax Regional Medical Center, then flown to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville. The officer, whose name was not released, was in critical condition Wednesday night.

Shortly after the shooting, someone reported seeing the suspect vehicle, which had Pennsylvania tags and had been reported stolen, in the parking lot of Halifax Academy, 1400 Three Bridges Road.  Roanoke Rapids officer shot on I-95 Roanoke Rapids officer shot on I-95

Authorities swarmed the school, which went into lockdown for students and teachers attending after-school programs.

Student Taylor Wright said students were ushered inside the teachers' lounge while officers searched the campus for a gunman.

"Everyone was like, 'The suspect is parked right beside your car,'" Wright said. "He was right beside my car, and I’m freaking out."

Halifax Academy canceled classes for Thursday.

Authorities believe that the man and woman abandoned the school and fled the area on foot. Search teams spent hours combing the woods around the school but did not find them.

Police urged residents in the area to exercise extra caution Wednesday night.  The man and woman are believed to be armed with multiple weapons. 

Police described the man as white, about 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds. He was wearing a baseball cap, Carhartt jacket and blue jeans. 

The woman was described as white, with dark, wavy hair. She was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. 

Anyone who has seen them should call 911. 

I-95 South was closed for more than eight hours after the shooting. 

160 Comments

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  • mbroadnax Nov 18, 2010

    I've been a resident of Roanoke Rapids for years and I know that the RR police dept has some of the finest human beings there are. They are well respected as being good and fair. They are admired by the little children in our area and when children admire and respect you that says alot about you. So my thoughts and prayers are with the officer and his family and his comrades as they search for the suspects. I'm praying that they will be found speedily. While some schools in the area are on lockdown and the kids cant go out and play or the school is closed even the kids are not complaining about it. They want the crminals caught and everyone to be safe. Some people could learn a lesson from the kids.

  • rayk Nov 18, 2010

    Michelle1 - they do shut down the interstate for the president. They have shut down 440 at rush hour in Raleigh twice in the last couple years for the VP.

  • d194nero Nov 17, 2010

    My prayers go out to the officer and his family and to all those officers who are searching for the shooter. I know the officer who was shot and he is a good man. God bless him and be with him.

  • Havyn08 Nov 17, 2010

    Please please please let the officer be ok! And all other officers involved - stay safe, I'm sending you good thoughts!

  • civicchic03 Nov 17, 2010

    Are you kidding me michaelllee11?? Seriously think about what you just typed. They have shut it down because of this accident and because they are still trying to find the ones who shot this officer. He was doing his job! He wasn't out of his area. And people might have been lost, but they are alive and kept safe thanks to officers out working and risking their lives for us! If it was your family member, I am pretty sure you would want it shut down till they found the ones responsible! So just sit back and think about what this officers family and friends are going through right now!

    Praying for this officer, his family and friends! And praying they find these people responsible!

  • michaelllee11 Nov 17, 2010

    By the way, I hear the officer is in good condition.

  • doubletrouble Nov 17, 2010

    Roanoke Rapids is kinda a sleepy kind of town...am praying for the officer and his family. They have roadblocks everywhere and rightfully so. As someone else stated, the 2 seem to be on foot and desperate.

  • doubletrouble Nov 17, 2010

    I, being close to the area...am locked and loaded. I suggest other residents do the same if they find themselves in the same area/keep their doors locked and kids close by. Remember the descriptions--and keep your eyes out, as latest reports are they are probably on foot.

  • robbins Nov 17, 2010

    My concern is for innocent citizens who may be in the path of those two people. They are armed and dangerous, and they are also desperate. They'll take money, cars, whatever gets them away from there anonymously.

  • rpdwife Nov 17, 2010

    Praying for this officer and his family.

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