Trooper forced to shoot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2004

WINDSOR -North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper E.J. Forbes was simply passing through the Roanoke-Chowan area near here Tuesday afternoon when he came face-to-face with what all law enforcement officers fear – an irate individual bearing a weapon.

Forbes, a Dare County Trooper en route to Greenville, was forced to fire his service weapon when confronted by a man who allegedly pointed a handgun in the direction of the officer. Forbes fired one shot, striking the man.

The incident unfolded when Forbes, traveling south on U.S. 17 near Windsor, observed two males fighting in the median of the four-lane highway.

&uot;Trooper Forbes stopped and exited his patrol car at which time he noticed one of the two men involved in the fight had a gun,&uot; said Sgt. Billy Brown of the Greenville NCHP Troop Headquarters.

He continued, &uot;Trooper Forbes ordered the man to drop his weapon. The man did not abide by that order and allegedly turned the weapon in the direction of Trooper Forbes. It was at this time that Trooper Forbes fired one round from his weapon and struck the man.&uot;

Sgt. Brown said it was to his understanding that the man was transported to Bertie Memorial Hospital and later taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. His identity was not released, nor was the name of the other man involved in the fight.

The NCHP requested an investigation of the shooting by the North Carolina SBI. Agent Dennis Hunnicutt confirmed that request, adding that the SBI would, &uot;conduct a thorough investigation from every possible angle.&uot; He said once the investigation is complete, the findings will be turned over to Valerie Asbell, District Attorney for Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties.

In the meantime, Trooper Forbes is on administrative leave with pay until the investigation is completed.