COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - It’s been exactly one year since Trooper Kevin K. Conner was shot and killed while making a routine traffic stop on a speeding driver in Columbus County.
"He was on his way home and probably would have said ‘stop speeding, slow down’ and would probably give him a warning but, unfortunately, never got the chance,” said Miranda Conner, Trooper Conner’s wife.
Much has happened in the year since his death.
Conner’s Law, which toughens penalties on acts of violence against law enforcement and emergency responders, was recently signed by Governor Roy Cooper. Also, the Kevin Conner Scholarship Fund was started by his family. The scholarship supports students who do community service, just as Trooper Conner did, explained his wife. Not to mention the Trooper Kevin Conner Memorial Run which is scheduled for this weekend.
After Conner’s death, a memorial was erected along U.S. 701 where he was fatally shot. Many have stopped by to pay tribute, including friends, and other officers, but not his wife. Not until today.
Miranda said she and her kids have driven by the memorial countless times, but never stopped to appreciate it. She wanted to wait.
“It’s a harsh reminder every time we come by here how Kevin’s life was taken," she said. "We haven’t stopped and the kids have asked about it a few times when we’ve been by but we decided to wait until today as a way to honor him and remember his life. It’s a nice gesture that people have set this memorial up, we wish it never had to be here but it’s a beautiful way to remember him.”
Miranda Conner said it’s been a tough year for her family. Her son, the youngest of the two children, recently broke his pelvic bone and she joked saying, “October really isn’t their favorite time of the year.”
But, she wants to look forward and keep living because she knows that’s what her husband would want from his family.
“We move forward, we don’t ever move on," she said. “You don’t ever get over it, you never forget who he was and what he was for our family but you have to keep living, especially for our kids. He’ll forever be a hero to us.”
Miranda Conner said she wants to keep moving forward and continue to do things in her late husband’s honor. She said she wishes her children still had their father, but she’s glad his death hasn’t been for nothing.