GREENSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- An off-duty Greensboro police sergeant with more than two decades of service was shot and killed Saturday while attempting to stop a crime in progress.
On Sunday, the officer was identified as Sgt. Philip Dale Nix, a 23-year veteran of the force.
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with Nix's death: Jamere Justice Foster, 18, Z'quriah Le'Pearce Blackwell, 18, and John Walter Morrison, 28, police said.
Foster was charged with first-degree murder, larceny, and conspiracy to commit larceny. He was being held with no bond.
Blackwell was charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. He was being held on a $500,000 bond.
Morrison was charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, larceny, and conspiracy to commit larceny. He was being held without bond.
Winston-Salem Police assisted with making the arrests of the suspects. All three suspects are from Winston-Salem, police said.
More charges are possible, GPD said.
The Greensboro Police Department said it happened just after 4 p.m. at Sheetz at 3202 Sandy Ridge Road in Colfax,
Greensboro Police Chief John Thompson said the Nix tried to stop a crime that was happening at the gas station and approached the suspects before he was shot. Police said a second off-duty officer and a Guilford County paramedic were also at the scene and attempted to render aid.
Nix was rushed to a hospital but died from his injuries.
The suspects fled on I-40 West toward Winston-Salem in a black Chevrolet Equinox.
Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement on X Saturday evening:
"I spoke with Greensboro Police Chief Thompson earlier this evening offering all available state resources to catch those who killed a Greensboro police officer. Our prayers are with the Greensboro police and family and loved ones. Every effort must be made to apprehend those responsible and bring justice in this tragic situation. - RC"
A Blue Alert was issued, which is the case when a law enforcement officer is killed or is seriously injured OR when a law enforcement agency determines that the suspect poses a threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel.
Thompson held an emotional news conference Saturday evening saying the fallen sergeant was a "loving husband, father, son and brother with (23) years of service to the department."
Nix worked with GPD under many assignments including Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Detective, Patrol Corporal, and Patrol Sergeant, Most recently, he was Supervisor of the Family Victims Unit. He was also a Team Leader for the Peer Support Team for more than 12 years and was the current Assistant Team Leader of the GPD Honor Guard.