State News

Florida man charged with killing N.C. trooper

Posted June 18, 2008

— Authorities arrested a Florida man late Tuesday and charged him with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing a state Highway Patrol trooper.

Edwardo Wong II, 37, of Ormond Beach, Fla., is in custody at the Haywood County Detention Center, about 20 miles west of Asheville.

He does not yet have an attorney but is expected to appear with a lawyer at an initial court hearing Wednesday, said jail administrator Lt. Lucrecia Ray.

Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr., 24, was shot after he stopped a vehicle in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 near exit 31 about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday for an unknown reason, Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin said.

"An altercation occurred between Trooper Blanton and Wong, and Blanton was fatally shot," Clendenin said.

Clendenin said Blanton was hit by two shots, one non life-threatening. The fatal shot entered his torso in an area not protected by his bulletproof vest, then struck organs inside his body.

Wong removed the trooper’s weapon and fled the scene, authorities said. But it was unclear if that was the gun used to kill Blanton.

A passer-by called authorities to report that Blanton had been shot. He died at Mission Hospitals in Asheville, Patrol First Sgt. S.D. Greene said.

Wong was arrested nearby by Haywood County sheriff's deputies and Canton police a short time later. Clendenin said police later found weapons and narcotics in Wong's vehicle.

Records from the Florida Department of Corrections indicate Wong has 19 criminal convictions dating to 1996 that include armed burglary, assault with a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, sale and possession of marijuana and escape. He was incarcerated in Florida from 1998 to 2005.

Blanton was a native of Sylva and a two-year veteran of the patrol. He was married and had one child.

He is the 59th trooper to die in the line of duty since the North Carolina Highway Patrol formed in 1929, and the first to be fatally assaulted since 1997.

"Incidents like this remind us of what a dangerous profession law enforcement is," said Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Bryan E. Beatty in a statement.

Memorial funds have been established to assist Blanton's family at the State Employees Credit Union and at the Arden, Canton and Clyde branches of Champion Credit Union.


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  • rrnjmm1999 Jun 19, 2008


  • shoyaryt Jun 19, 2008

    What happens if Edwardo Wong pleads GUILTY in lieu of a trial?

  • USA Jun 19, 2008

    In the end hanging chads didn't decide anything. The US Supreme Court upheld the laws in Florida; something the state supreme court was unable to do because they tried to re-write the laws instead of enforcing what was in place.

  • Obscurite Jun 19, 2008

    "This is a perfect example of how someone will take a situation and shove it into a narrow mold to make themselves feel better for holding certain presumptions to be true." jennmc

    There seems to be enough of that on both sides of the aisle. I take umbridge when ANYONE stands up and blames a tragedy on liberalism. I would love to take it offline and direct my comments solely to the errant posters but as you'll notice, those folks don't have profiles to respond to.

    Just to be clear...I empathize with the family of this trooper and the guy who did it should face justice at the end of a syringe IMHO.

    As to FL being a red state, its obviously purple since it came down to hanging chads to make one of the biggest decisions this country has faced in decades...


  • ncst8man1999 Jun 19, 2008

    Tarheel Born -- It is from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 in France -- Citizenship in a Republic -- a man that knew a little something about being a man.

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Jun 18, 2008

    Here's the quote from this morning...this just screams Monday morning quarterbacks......

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
    June 18, 2008 7:17 a.m.
    Report abuse

  • daMoFo Jun 18, 2008

    USA, what difference does it make if he looks different than his DL picture? I don't see how that relates to him shooting a trooper.

  • Tarheel born Jun 18, 2008


    What is the quote from you posted at 7:17 a.m.??

  • Tarheel born Jun 18, 2008

    This used to be my family's greatest fear. Now, it is my greatest fear for my son.

    On behalf of law enforcement officers in N.C. and everywhere, if I may be so bold, thanks for so many positive comments and an outpouring of sympathy and grief.

    May God bless his young family. And may the full wrath of God pour down on this killer.

  • Mad Baumer Jun 18, 2008

    Dang! You beat me to it...I hate missing all the fun because of work."

    Wow, so this is fun to you? Good lord
    GOLO member since September 6, 2007
    June 18, 2008 6:45 p.m.
    Amen, what sick corner of the farm are you from?? Someone died, really, "FUN"?????????????????????????????????????????