Local News

Friends Visit Wounded Cop, Alleged Shooter on the Loose

Posted August 5, 2007 6:49 a.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2007 11:12 p.m. EDT

— Police are searching for a suspect in the shooting of an officer during a traffic stop in Rocky Mount early Sunday morning.

Alexander Damion Whitaker, 20, is charged with the attempted murder of Senior Police Officer Darrell Martin, who has served 13 years with the Rocky Mount Police Department, authorities said.

Martin stopped a car with Whitaker and four other occupants as it was traveling east on Sunset Avenue at the U.S. Highway 301 overpass at 3:16 a.m. Martin recognized one occupant as a man wanted by the Rocky Mount Police on an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation, officers said.

He ordered the men to exit the car one at a time, according to the police report. While exiting the car, Whitaker allegedly fired a gun at Martin at least twice, officers said.

Whitaker fled the scene, along with two other suspects, authorities said.

Martin arrested two occupants of the vehicle, Eric Devon Harrison and Tyron Foreman, both of Rocky Mount, officers said.

Martin suffered gunshot wounds on his left side and in his right arm, Capt. Martin McCoy said. He was in stable condition at an area hospital.

Friends visited Martin in the hospital Sunday and said he was doing well.

“When I went to see him, I felt much better,” said friend Lindy Brewer. “There was a lot of police support there. He was able to carry on a conversation with us, and it was very uplifting to see him in such good shape, because it could have been so much worse.”

“That’s really bad, especially when you’re out there helping the community,” said neighbor Shannon Smith.

Whitaker remains on the loose. He is described as a 20-year-old black male, standing 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds.

The State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist, and investigators secured the scene of the shooting, police said. Nearly a dozen U.S. Marshals suited up in the police department parking lot Sunday evening to help with the investigation.