The on-duty death of a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper and Edgecombe County native Saturday morning is being felt throughout the Twin Counties.
“His death brings to light how dangerous law enforcement is. Whether a trooper, deputy or a police officer, there is always a chance that you won’t return home in the evening,” N.C. Highway Patrol First Sgt. Jeff Gordon said of Trooper Bobby G. DeMuth, 42. “The most important thing we are asking from our troopers and the community is to remember the Demuth family and keep them in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Retired N.C. Highway Patrol Capt. Keith Stone said DeMuth, an Edgecombe County native, had started his shift an hour or two before the incident.
“It hurts you hard anytime you see a law enforcement officer get hurt, let alone die in this profession,” Stone said. “The dangers are always in the back of our minds, but when something like this happens, it hits hard.
“These guys and girls are trying to make our community safe and they die trying,” he said. “It is a very humbling experience and he is going to be truly missed.”
Stone knew DeMuth for more than a decade starting when the late trooper was with the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office.
“He has always been a hardworking, outstanding law enforcement officer,” Stone said.
Stone said DeMuth left the sheriff’s office to work for the Department of Motor Vehicles then joined the Highway Patrol 12 years ago, around the same time as his cousin Trooper Fred DeMuth.
“In my opinion, he was a top law enforcement officer,” Stone said. “He wouldn’t go home until the job was done.”
DeMuth, who lived in Nash County, leaves a wife and family.
“I will remember most his positive attitude. He was always willing to help with a smile on his face,” Stone said. “He was an eager law enforcement officer with a caring attitude. He wanted to do what was right for the people and he died doing what he loved to do.”