Local News

Line-of-duty shooting put life in perspective for former officer

Posted July 19, 2016 6:25 p.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2016 7:04 p.m. EDT

— It's been six years since John Taylor, who at the time was a Roanoke Rapids police officer, was shot during a traffic stop.

Taylor, now an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation, has struggled to understand recent police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge. For Taylor, the horrific news brought back vivid memories of the day he was shot along Interstate 95.

“It's hard to not be reminded of it, hard sometimes not to relive it and it can be difficult,” he said.

Taylor says the road to recovery in the aftermath of a line-of-duty shooting can be difficult and support is critical

“I had all those people – my spouse, my church, my family, friends and the community I lived in and served,” Taylor said. “[They] really came together and they made it known they supported not only myself but the police department.”

Now Taylor is the one offering support and help to officers dealing with trauma.

“I always tell the officers I talk to it's not the incident that should define you, it's how you recover from that incident,” he said.

Taylor says he knows he's one of the lucky ones, and that the incident along Interstate 95 put everything else into perspective.

“I think my shooting made me realize more than anything how precious life is,” he said. “I thank God every night for that precious gift.”

After an exhaustive manhunt, the shooter in the Taylor’s case shot and killed himself. His accomplice, Renee Phillips, was eventually sent back to Pennsylvania, where she served time for crimes committed in the state.