Deputy, motorist shot during traffic stop on Interstate 95

Published 7:56 am Friday, February 5, 2021

A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy was shot during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 by a suspect was also shot and wounded, a sheriff said Thursday.

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone told a news conference that his deputies spotted a Mercedes-Benz with Florida tags exceeding the speed limit in the southbound lanes of I-95 near mile marker 145 and stopped the car to issue a warning. One deputy was attempting to get the driver’s license, which was determined to be revoked, Stone said.

The deputy noticed criminal activity in the car and spoke with the driver before calling another deputy to the scene, Stone said. He didn’t specify what the activity was. The deputies asked the man to step out of the car, and when he did, he produced a gun and opened fire, according to the sheriff.

Stone said Deputy William Toney sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his upper and lower body. Deputy Shelby Scott, who made the initial stop, returned fire and held the suspect at gunpoint after he ran into a ditch.

Toney was taken to a Greenville hospital as was the suspect. Both men underwent surgery Thursday afternoon. The sheriff said charges were pending against the suspect and also said he expected Toney to make a full recovery.

Stone expressed concern about the fact that the suspect was driving despite the fact he had a lengthy criminal history, including strangulation, drug trafficking and aggravated assault with a firearm. The sheriff said a large-capacity magazine was spotted inside the car the suspect was driving.

“It’s alarming to me that these types of individuals are out roaming the streets,” Stone said. “It’s concerning.”

In addition to the deputies, a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper was taken to the hospital after experiencing chest pains, Stone said, adding that Smith also was hurt but didn’t go to the hospital.

The deputies will be placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation, Stone said.

Southbound traffic on I-95 was closed at the scene of the accident, but reopened in the afternoon.

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