Local News

Roanoke Rapids relieved officer will recover

Posted November 18, 2010
Updated November 19, 2010

— Employees and diners at Carini’s Italian Restaurant shared a sigh of relief Thursday on news that a frequent customer, Officer John Taylor, was expected to recover from gunshot wounds he suffered during a Wednesday afternoon traffic stop.

Chief of Police Jeff Hinton said Taylor stopped a green 1997 Geo Prism for following another vehicle too closely on Interstate 95 Wednesday at about 2:30 p.m. As he spoke to the female passenger, the male driver shot him, hitting him in the neck, upper torso and hand.

Hinton said Taylor's condition was stable after he underwent surgery at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

"Obviously, it's a sigh of relief for us and our officers and also the public," Hinton said.

"I was sad and at the same time I was praying that he would be fine," said Gricelda Richardson, a family friend who works at Carini's. She said Taylor, his wife and son were frequent customers at the restaurant, at 948 Roanoke Ave., about a block from police headquarters.

Renee Michelle Phillips Roanoke Rapids relieved to have shooting solved

The incident hit especially close to home for her.

"My husband works for the Highway Patrol, and that could have been him," she said. "I was just hoping that he was going to be fine."

The Police Benevolent Association has set up a fund to help Taylor's family. Donations to the "Officer John Taylor Fund" can be made at any BB&T branch. You can also text "COPS Taylor" to 85944, and a $10 donation will be added to your cell phone bill.

Faye Byrum, who lives near the Taylors, said, "I started praying for him, because I know he's got a small child and all. I just hoped and prayed they caught them before they did anymore damage to anyone else."

One suspect in custody, one an apparent suicide

After a search that lasted through the night and involved more than 100 law enforcement officers, two suspects were identified.

Renee Michelle Phillips, 43, also of Southampton, Penn., was found in some bushes near a home on Three Bridges Road before noon Thursday. She was being held without bond at the Halifax County jail on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm and accessory after the fact of attempted murder. She was scheduled to appear in court Friday at 11 a.m.

neighbor who spotted Halifax County shooting suspects Web only: Neighbor spots shooting suspect in his yard

Michael Eugene Edgerton, 38, of Southampton, Penn., was found dead in a wooded area nearby a few hours later. A preliminary investigation found that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Pennsylvania court records show that Phillips was charged in August with property theft and unauthorized used of a motor vehicle.

"This incident has come to a close, as far as somebody being out and the public (being) in danger," Hinton said. "We feel like we've brought safety back to our neighborhood here in Roanoke Rapids and Halifax County."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ncpeanut Nov 19, 2010

    Praying for Officer Taylor.

  • ringwood2009 Nov 19, 2010

    its tomany ppl aying that they tired of police officers going on I95..... but only thing i have to say is for yall thats commenting to hush because thats there job. good job officers.

  • chaotickitty82 Nov 19, 2010

    Thank God he's going to be ok. A difficult road to recovery, but he's going to live! =)

  • chellechelle2007 Nov 19, 2010

    Get well soon Officer Taylor!!!

  • michaelllee11 Nov 19, 2010

    Look, no one is blaming the officer. He is doing what he is told. I'm simply saying, there are more pressing issues in the city of Roanoke Rapids than being on the interstate targeting and doing dangerous searches. Leave the Interstate for the State Troopers and Sheriff deputies. I'm not the only one saying this. Roanoke Rapids has been getting a bad rap from other parts of the state because it's being viewed as a trap city(similar to Emporia, Virginia.

  • applesmith Nov 19, 2010

    Everyday somewhere in this "FREE" country a Officer/Deputy puts on a uniform leaves his family. To make the comment that Roanoke should keep there finest off the interstate is cold and undoutbly the worst thing I've seen on this Forum. If these officer did not patrol and take calls for sevice we as everyday people could not drive down that strecth of highway safely.Far to long City Managers and County Managers(DAVID COOKE) have treated the Deputies/officers as public servants its time we should start treating them like the heroes they are. Whens the last time you heard of a county manager(DAVID COOKE) or city manager loosing his life in the line of duty???????

  • skeeter83 Nov 19, 2010

    "I'm glad the officer is okay, but I do hope Roanoke Rapids learn a valuable lesson here, in keeping their finest off the interstate."

    Wow are you serious? This could have happened anywhere at anytime with anyone. So I guess you are another one of those who are saying Office Taylor is to blame?? The only ones to blame here are the 2 that shot him and fled. Good job to ALL the LEOS!!!! I hope you never need assistance on the interstate from a Roanoke Rapids officer "Who should keep off the interstate"...

  • Grandaddy Nov 19, 2010

    Saying that these police officers have no buisness on the interstate is telling crooks,drug dealers,murderers, and whatever, they have a free ride to anywhere as long as they stay on the interstate highway system. the problem must be treated where the problem is. A police dept. that does not send it's officers to any part of it's jurisdiction because their may be trouble there is inept,ineffective and a great danger to the public that it has sworn to protect and serve.

  • kel2011 Nov 19, 2010

    well im glad that Mr. John Taylor is alright> but yall be had my dad out all night trying to help find the bad guy its crazy.... like why would you kill yourself ...... shouldnt have did it and the lady just crazy...... she just gone sit there and go behind some house how dumb.............

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Nov 19, 2010

    I don't see the benefit of having them out their targeting travelers and strip searching their cars. I see this all the time from them. I understand trying to stop drugs from going to New York, but 99.9% will still get through Roanoke Rapids anyhow,on it's way to its destination up North.

    Yeah I know....seriously.....its not their problem, they should let drugs, guns, homicide suspects....just ride through.....not like its their job or anything to stop these people.

    I mean hey, just because someone is going to get killed outside the city limits by guns transported on 95, or drugs on 95, doesn't mean they should do anything about it.....do you have any family outside of Roanoke Rapids...if so, just say thank you to this brave man doing his job and move on