Two West Virginia police officers were wounded when a gunfight broke out during a traffic stop Thursday and the bodies of an elderly North Carolina couple were found in one of the gunmen’s vehicles.
Now, the father-and-son pair arrested is facing charges of murder in North Carolina and attempted murder of a police officer in West Virginia.
According to MetroNews, the afternoon shooting took place on Interstate 64 near Lewisburg. The officers — one a veteran, the other a rookie just out of the police academy — pulled over an SUV suspected of being stolen and another vehicle stopped as well.
The driver of the second vehicle, Edward Campbell, 51, fired at the two officers, wounding both superficially.
One of the officers returned fire, wounding Campbell in the leg. He was arrested at the scene.
The driver of the vehicle originally pulled over, 21-year-old Eric Campbell, tried to flee but was arrested a few miles away.
The bodies of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife Dora Faulkner, 62, of Granville County, N.C., were found under a mattress in the trunk of the vehicle driven by the older Campbell.
Granville County Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins Jr. told WRAL that the Campbells broke into the Faulkners’ home about 7 a.m. Thursday, set the house on fire and took the couple and their pickup truck.
“We’re fortunate as we start 2015 that we didn’t have two officers that were killed here,” West Virginia State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous told West Virginia Metro News. “Our hopes and prayers for them is a speedy recovery.”
Baylous said incidents like this are the reason that no traffic stop is considered routine.
“You have to be on guard for all traffic stops that you conduct and I haven’t heard anything that they weren’t being cautious and careful,” he said.
“We don’t know who is in the vehicle and what’s going on. Ninety-nine percent of the time they end up being good people who just made a mistake by speeding or having an equipment violation but sometimes it ends up like this.”
Lewisburg, West Virginia – On Thursday, January 1, 2015, at approximately 4:00pm, two officers from Lewisburg Police Department conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 64 West near the Lewisburg Exit. A white Chevrolet SUV had a North Carolina license plate which was in NCIC as a stolen plate. During the traffic stop, a red Chevrolet truck pulled over as well.
As the officers were conducting the traffic stop, the driver of the red truck pulled a handgun and shot at both officers. Both officers were wounded. One of the officers was able to respond to the threat with his department issued firearm, resulting in the suspect being wounded in the leg. The driver of the white SUV left the scene.
The shooting suspect went over the hillside and was eventually taken into custody by the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department. The other suspect drove behind a guardrail on the interstate and hid for a short amount of time. Eventually, he walked up to the Interstate and turned himself into law enforcement without incident. The identity of the suspects has yet to be verified. They claim to be Father and Son, with the Father being the shooter.
During a search of the Chevrolet truck, two recently deceased bodies were discovered in the bed of the truck, under a mattress. It is believed that the victims are from North Carolina. The West Virginia State Police has been in contact with law enforcement officials in North Carolina in an attempt to identify the victims. All information concerning the deceased victims will be released by North Carolina authorities at their discretion.
Both officers were transported to Greenbrier Medical Center for treatment to their wounds. Information related to their identity and status will be released by the Lewisburg Police Department at their discretion. The two suspects will be arrested for malicious assault and attempted murder of a police officer in Greenbrier County.
I wonder how the anti cop contingent is going to spin this one.
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