Local News

Authorities Identify Men in Fayetteville Officer Shooting

Posted March 27, 2007 9:27 a.m. EDT
Updated March 27, 2007 5:47 p.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville officer was out of the hospital Tuesday, a day after he was shot on the job, and two men charged with trying to kill him were identified.

Officer Douglas Austin was on patrol at around 3 a.m. Monday when he noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area. Authorities said two men—Robert H. Taylor, 51, of Newport Road and Steven Bethea, 39, of Dorchester Drive—eventually fled from their vehicle, with Austin chasing after them.

Investigators said Taylor shot Austin in the chest behind an apartment on Galveston Street. Authorities said Austin's bulletproof vest probably saved his life.

A Fort Bragg soldier, who did not want to be identified, assisted a second officer in apprehending Taylor. Bethea was captured a short time later.

Taylor faces numerous charges including first-degree attempted murder and felonious assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury. Bethea is charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and failure to appear on a misdemeanor larceny charge. Both men are being held in the Cumberland County Jail.

Austin is the son of Fayetteville City Councilwoman Lois Kirby. His father is a baseball coach at Methodist University.