Officer released from hospital after shooting

Officer John Taylor (Image courtesy Roanoke Rapids Police Department)

November 30, 2010 8:58:42 AM PST
Police Officer John Taylor, who was shot after making a traffic stop on November 17th, is now recuperating at home.

Roanoke Rapids Police confirm he was released from Pitt County Memorial Hospital on Thanksgiving Day.

Officer Taylor was shot multiple times after he stopped a vehicle on Interstate-95 near exit 172. That incident set off a manhunt for two suspects who ditched their car after leaving the scene of the shooting. One of the suspects was captured, while the other was later found dead.

Forty-three-year-old Renee Michele Phillips of Southampton, Pennsylvania was caught the morning after the shooting in a wooded area along Three Bridges Road.

Roanoke Rapids police said Michael Eugene Edgerton, 38, also of Southampton, shot himself in the head.

Police said there was just a single shot and no officers fired their guns. A .380 caliber pistol was found with Edgerton.

The Highway Patrol says the vehicle the officer pulled over was reported stolen.

The green 1997 Geo Prism with a Pennsylvania license plate was later located empty in the parking lot of the Halifax Academy on Three Bridges Road near NC 903 in Roanoke Rapids. The couple was found nearby.

The manhunt for the suspects was relentless from the moment Officer Taylor was shot. Troopers, dogs and helicopters aided in the search.

Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Jeff Hinton said Officer Taylor was wearing a bulletproof vest. He was shot in the neck, upper chest, and hand.

Hinton said passing motorists stopped to help Taylor and he was conscious enough, despite his injuries, to radio in for help and give a description of the suspects.

Hinton said Taylor had just walked up to the car from the passenger side when he was shot. Hinton said it happened in a matter of seconds.

Taylor is a veteran police officer who has served with Roanoke Rapids department for five years. He worked in law enforcement for four years before that. He is married with one child. Hinton described him as one of his more safety conscious officers.

Hinton said Taylor initially stopped the car for following another vehicle too closely, and he didn't know it was stolen.

Phillips was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm and accessory after the fact.

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