Highway Patrol sergeant involved in shootout with armed kidnapping suspect

Sgt. Aaron Johnson is a 19-year veteran of the Highway Patrol.
Sgt. Aaron Johnson is a 19-year veteran of the Highway Patrol.(NC Highway Patrol)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:16 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 7:23 AM EDT
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BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Officials say a State Highway Patrol trooper shot an armed kidnapping suspect on Tuesday after being shot at on the side of an interstate.

The Highway Patrol says at about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, the Highway Patrol was told of multiple hit-and-run traffic crashes between McDowell and Burke counties, as well as a related armed kidnapping on I-40 eastbound near mile marker 114.

Troopers say a report said the suspect was in the bed of the kidnapped victim’s truck traveling on the interstate.

Sergeant Aaron Johnson found the truck that had pulled over to the shoulder of the roadway. WITN is told Johnson saw the suspect, a woman, in the bed of the truck and she shot at him before he returned fire and shot her.

The Highway Patrol says that once the scene was secured, authorities began life-saving procedures until emergency responders arrived and brought the suspect from the scene. She is listed in stable condition.

Johnson, a 19-year veteran stationed in Burke County, was not injured, and has been placed on administrative duty, which is agency protocol in any trooper-involved shooting.

Authorities say they are working to positively identify the suspect. The State Bureau of Investigation will oversee the investigation into the trooper-involved shooting while the Highway Patrol will continue to investigate the suspect’s actions.

The Highway Patrol says charges are forthcoming.

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