Wounded officer plans to return to work

December 1, 2010 11:04:50 AM PST
Officer John Taylor's wife spoke Wednesday about his recovery after a man shot him four times during a traffic stop November 17.

"I received the call from my law enforcement family that every wife fears," Taylor's wife Kristen recalled.

Taylor - five-year veteran of the Roanoke Rapids Police Department - pulled over 38-year-old Michael Eugene Edgerton of Southampton, Pennsylvania and 43-year-old Renee Michele Phillips - also of Southampton - on Interstate 95 for following another vehicle too closely.

But, Edgerton and Phillips were in a stolen vehicle and had warrants out for their arrests. Investigators say Edgerton shot Officer Taylor as he approached the passenger side door of their car.

After the shooting, the pair ditched the car near Halifax Academy and fled into a wooded area. After a multi-department manhunt, Phillips was captured and Edgerton committed suicide by putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger.

After spending days in intensive care, Taylor came home from Pitt County Memorial Hospital on Thanksgiving Day.

"My husband is home and resting as comfortably as he can. Johnny has been through a traumatic ordeal but is expected to recover," said Kristen Taylor.

Taylor said despite the long road to recovery her husband faces, he plans to return to his job. And that's something his chief welcomes.

"I know him. I know he has a place here with us, and I know if he could, he would be here today," offered Chief Jeff Hinton.

Officer Taylor was wearing a bulletproof vest. He was shot in the neck, upper chest, and hand.

Hinton went on to say he was proud of his officers and other cooperating agencies, as was Officer Taylor's wife.

"My husband and I would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies from all across the state who worked tirelessly to bring this thing to a close before any other innocents could be harmed," said Kristen Taylor.

Both Taylor's wife and his chief also expressed thanks to three motorists who stopped to help the fallen officer immediately after he was shot. Although their names have not been released, the chief said he expects to recognize them next week.

Phillips remains in custody. She is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm, and accessory after the fact.

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