Local News

Shooting ended his career, but Cary officer would do it again

Posted November 18, 2010 10:38 p.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2010 11:04 p.m. EST

George Almond of Cary knows about the fear, pain and long recovery that lie ahead for Roanoke Rapids Police Officer John Taylor, who was shot by a suspect during a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities said Taylor pulled over a car on Interstate 95 for following too closely. As he talked to the female passenger, the male driver pulled out a gun and shot him in the neck, torso and hand. 

"The hair on the back of my neck stood up. It projected me back into the situation I was in," Almond said.

In October 2001, Almond became the first Cary officer to be shot in the line of duty. He was 28 years old.

Almond pulled over a car he knew had been linked to suspicious activity. He even had reports that people in the car made have had weapons. When he approached, Emory Bivens shot him right between the eyes.

Almond has no memory of the incident, but he has plenty of daily reminders. He has a prosthetic eye. He lost his sense of taste, smell and some of his hearing. He still carries shrapnel under his skin from the shooting.

After a long rehabilitation, Almond returned to the force, but retired in 2004 for medical reasons.

He said all officers accept the dangers of the job and the unknown and unknowable threat behind even a simple traffic stop. "It could be a very bad situation that could unfold," he said.

Even after his experience, Almond said he'd do it all again. "I think it is a passion each officer has to have," he said.

Bivens is serving a sentence of up to 45 years in prison.