JANUARY 19, 2005 -- A traffic stop early Tuesday morning turned out to be the last by Boiling Spring Lakes Police Officer James Mitchell Price. Authorities say 19-year-old Darrell Manness shot and killed the 36-year-old to avoid going to jail for a probation violation.
Prince leaves behind his wife, a 15-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter. He had been an auxiliary officer with Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department for a year and a half, before he was killed in the line of duty Tuesday morning.
"Whatever the task was, Mitch was right up front, willing to step right in and help in any way," said Boiling Spring Lakes Police Chief Richard White. "Mitch was also a very religious man. We're going to miss him."
It's been a very sad and difficult time at the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department. This is the first officer ever killed in that department in the line of duty. Chief White said Prince's murder has shocked and devastated his family and this entire community.
"You kiss your husband goodbye, and you expect to see him in the morning," White said. "But he doesn't come home. You speak to your son and eat dinner with him, and it's the last one."
Chief White stifled his sobs, saying it's been hard on everyone.
Prince served with the Oak Island Police Department for five years, before joining Boiling Spring Lakes Police in September 2003.
Prince worked the night shift, while also running a catering business and finding time to be active in his church.
Many came by the police department upon hearing the news Tuesday, bringing with them flowers and condolences.
"He was a real upbeat fellow," said Tim Mashburn, a family friend. "A good family man. We are just feeling the pain today."
Residents said his murder has left a hole in this community, and a hole in the hearts of all who knew him.
Arrangements for Officer Prince
Officer Mitch Prince Memorial Fund
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at any branch of BB&T, to Special Fund in Memory of Officer Mitch Prince, c/o Officer T.E. Dailey.
Reported by Sara Straeten