Funeral set for slain trooper

Trooper Kevin K. Conner

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

Update 7:30 p.m.

     Funeral services for Kevin Keith Conner, the North Carolina High Patrol Trooper shot and killed in the line of duty Wednesday, have been scheduled for Sunday.

     Visitation will be held from 1 to 3:45 p.m. Sunday at South Columbus High School, with funeral services to begin at 4 p.m.     

A long line of NCHP vehicles, and others, escort the body of Trooper Kevin K. Conner to Inman Ward Funeral Home in Tabor City Wednesday afternoon. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

      Inman Ward Funeral Home is handling arrangements for Conner, who was 38. The full obituary, with a guest register, is available here.

Update 4:15 p.m.

     A Chadbourn man has been charged with murder in the death of a North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper in Columbus County early Wednesday.

     Raheem Cole Dashanell Davis, 20, of 2089 Braswell Road, Chadbourn, was charged with first degree murder in the death of Trooper Kevin K. Conner, patrol spokesman F/Sgt. Michael Baker said in a news release.

     Bond was denied for Davis during a first appearance hearing Wednesday afternoon.

     Look for updates on this story as events warrant, a complete story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

Update 9:30 a.m.

     The NC Highway Patrol Trooper fatally shot in Columbus County early Wednesday had stopped a white GMC pickup truck for a speeding violation before he was shot, patrol spokesman F/Sgt. Michael Baker said Wednesday.

     Trooper Kevin K. Conner, an 11-year veteran of the patrol assigned to Columbus County, was shot as he approached the pickup that had pulled over to the road shoulder, Baker said.

     Fair Bluff Police Department officers spotted the pickup later, and when they attempted a traffic stop the truck fled, briefly, before the truck “became disabled” on a railroad crossing, the suspect then fleeing on foot.

Murder suspect Raheem Cole Dashanell Davis

     Officers took the suspect into custody, without incident, following an “extensive search,” Baker said.

     That suspect was taken to the Columbus County Detention Center for interviews, charged pending, Baker said.

     “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 Conner’s family and all who knew him in your thoughts and prayers.”

     “We extend our deepest sympathy to Trooper Conner’s family”, said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. “Trooper Conner was killed while protecting and serving his community. We mourn our loss and will continue to support his family. We are grateful for his service and honor the men and women who serve in harm’s way, each and every day.”

     Look for updates on this story as they become available, a complete story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

Original post

    An on-duty North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper shot in the Sellerstown Community early today (Wednesday) has died, with a suspect in custody hours later.

     Trooper Kevin Keith Conner was found in the roadway on U.S. 701 at Sellerstown Road after midnight., multiple law enforcement sources said.

     Troopers and other law enforcement officers quickly sealed off the area and launched a manhunt, their search focusing on a silver car, one source said.

     Officers later converged on the Fair Bluff area, sealing that area off as they searched for a suspect that had fled his vehicle.

     A helicopter was later seen over the area, apparently taking part in the manhunt before a suspect was taken into custody about 4 a.m. on or near Rogers Street.

     Conner was initially taken to Columbus Regional Healthcare in Whiteville, then transferred to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington where he succumbed to his injury.

     More detailed information on the incident, and the suspect, was not available early this morning. Updates will be posted here as they are available.