Authorities nab suspects in trooper’s shooting

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John David Jones, the main suspect in the shooting of a State Highway Patrol trooper Monday night, is led into the courtroom Tuesday in Wilson.


By Olivia Neeley
The Wilson Times

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

WILSON — A man accused of shooting a state trooper in Elm City made his first court appearance on Tuesday morning.

Thirty-six-year-old John David Jones was captured about midnight after the State Highway Patrol and Wilson County Sheriff’s Office special response teams found him in a wooded area off Cattail Road near Weaver Road southeast of Elm City, officials said.

Jones, clad in an orange jumpsuit, stood Tuesday before District Court Judge John Britt as the charges were read aloud. He faces multiple charges after authorities said he shot Trooper Daniel C. Harrell at about 5:15 p.m. Monday during a traffic stop on Haynes Road east of Elm City.

Harrell, a third-generation state trooper, is at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. He sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

“I spoke with Trooper Harrell last night and appreciate his service, his bravery and his dedication,” state Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks said in a statement on Tuesday. “On behalf of the DPS leadership team, I want him and his family to know that we support him and pray for his smooth and speedy recovery.”

State troopers filled up the first three rows of the courtroom on Tuesday morning to show support for their colleague as well as observe the first appearances in the case.

Jones, who is being held under a $1.02 million bond, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, assault inflicting serious injury on a law enforcement officer and felony speeding to elude an arrest.

He faces other charges including breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering in connection to stolen tools, according to court proceedings.

Authorities said Jones shot Harrell around 5:15 p.m. during a traffic stop.

Two other suspects were charged in connection with the case — 40-year-old William Allen Boswell of 5967 Bridgersville Road, Elm City, and 25-year-old Bryan Jeffrey Mullins of 6626 Finch Road, Bailey.

Boswell and Mullins, who each are charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, also made their first court appearances on Tuesday.