Trooper awarded congressional Badge of Bravery for pursuing suspect during violent traffic stop

WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sen. Thom Tillis presented a North Carolina state trooper with the Congressional Badge of Bravery on Monday.

In January 2019, Trooper Daniel Harrell began a routine traffic stop in Wilson County that turned violent. He noticed a car was improperly towing another vehicle and tried to pull the car over. While Harrell was explaining the reason for the stop, the driver couldn't give a valid license and drove off.

After a short chase, the suspect stopped his car and shot a gun four times at Harrell, hitting him in the face and neck. The suspect eventually crashed his car head-on into Harrell's vehicle, disabling the patrol car. Harrell continued to chase the suspect, despite his injuries, and he and fellow officers were able to arrest the suspect.

Harrell spent two days in the hospital after being shot.

"His high character, that outward display of faith and his trooper spirit have been a model to others to see and to aspire to. A law enforcement officer never knows what each call for service or traffic stop will bring, but my hope is that we would find that will to survive just as Daniel did that day," said North Carolina State Highway Patrol Colonel Freddie Johnson Jr.

Tillis awarded the medal Monday in a celebration at Wilson Community College.
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