(CNN)A North Carolina state trooper was fatally shot early Wednesday during a traffic stop in Columbus County, and a suspect is in police custody, authorities said.
North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Conner was murdered during a routine traffic stop on early Wednesday morning, per reports by CNN and WRAL.
The Highway Patrol family is mourning the loss of a hero and will forever be changed by the tragic events that have occurred, said Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. We ask everyone to please keep Trooper Conners family and all who knew him in your thoughts and prayers.
Video: NC state trooper killed during traffic stop
It happened just after midnight on U.S. Highway 701 near Sellers Road, according to Defense Maven. Conner stopped the driver of a White GMC for allegedly speeding, and the driver shot at him several times.
According to 1310 KFKA, Conner was an 11-year veteran of the force. State Highway Patrol commander Colonel Glenn McNeil Jr. said of Conner’s death, The Highway Patrol family is mourning the loss of a hero…[The department] will forever be changed by the tragic events. We ask everyone to please keep Trooper Conners family and all who knew him in your thoughts and prayers.
In a since-deleted post, the Bladen County Sheriff said of Conner in a Facebook post, “It is with the heaviest of hearts this morning that we learn the passing of Trooper Kevin Conner. Many will say [he] was the nicest guy you would ever meet and the ones that knew Kevin and family would agree.”