WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Attempted murder charges filed in trooper’s shooting

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N.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Bennie Pulliam, who works with Trooper Daniel Harrell, reads several encouragement letters  recently delivered to the Wilson office by students from Community Christian School. The handwritten letters were aimed to encourage troopers as well as thank them for protecting the community. The letters also noted students' favorite Bible verses.
N.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Bennie Pulliam, who works with Trooper Daniel Harrell, reads several encouragement letters recently delivered to the Wilson office by students from Community Christian School. The handwritten letters were aimed to encourage troopers as well as thank them for protecting the community. The letters also noted students' favorite Bible verses.
Olivia Neeley | Times
Posted

The man accused of shooting a state trooper in Wilson County on Monday faces several new charges including attempted murder.

On Thursday, additional charges were filed against 36-year-old John David Jones, who authorities say shot Trooper Daniel Harrell in the face after he initiated a traffic stop for a towing violation on Haynes Road east of Elm City.

Jones is now charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, possession of a firearm by a felon, two counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property resulting in serious bodily injury, discharging a weapon into a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

He is being held under a more than $5 million secured bond, which includes the bond amount from the previously filed charges, officials said.

“I was displeased with the charges issued by the magistrate the night of the serious assault on Trooper Harrell,” Sheriff Calvin Woodard said in a statement to The Wilson Times. “After gathering additional evidence, and presenting it to the District Attorney’s Office, additional charges were brought against the defendant. We will continue to uplift Trooper Harrell, his family and the N.C. Highway Patrol family in our prayers.”

Jones was initially 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 arrest. Those charges still stand, sheriff’s officials said.

HEALING AND RECOVERY

Harrell, a five-year N.C. Highway Patrol veteran, returned home from the hospital Wednesday and is recovering from his injuries. He is assigned to Troop C, District 5, which covers Wilson and Greene counties.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Bennie Pulliam said several troopers are stationed outside Harrell’s home to provide security.

And his brothers and sisters in uniform say they will remain by his side throughout his recovery and will do whatever they can for Harrell and his family throughout the healing process.

PRAYERS AND NOTES OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Many in the community have reached out to the N.C. Highway Patrol office in Wilson to show just how much troopers mean to them. Community Christian high school students delivered handwritten letters to the patrol office earlier this week.

“I know you always see the bad throughout the week, but I hope I can bring some good to you today,” Community Christian student Laura Bradley wrote. “I just wanted to thank you for what you do because I know it’s not an easy job to see and experience everything that goes on.”

Bradley continued, “God made you strong to be able to take care of this state. Always remember that God is always with you and he will protect you! When you feel like you’re losing strength, just read Isaiah 41:10…”

Community Christan student Logan Vaughan thanked troopers for the work they do.

“And risking your life every day to protect us,” Vaughan wrote. “Remember that everything happens for a reason and God has a plan. Stay strong and praying for you guys.”

In her letter, Maggie Godwin prayed for troopers’ protection.

“I hope that you always stay encouraged, and that you are prayed for on a daily basis,” Godwin wrote.

In addition to the notes, Pulliam said Lowe’s in Wilson also delivered five-gallon buckets filled with goodies for the troopers. He said the outpouring of love for Harrell and his colleagues has been amazing. They are grateful, he added.

“To see that the community cares about us and they’re showing their support, it means a lot,” he said. “It made us feel good.”

The N.C. Highway Patrol has set up an account at the State Employees’ Credit Union for anyone who wants to donate to Harrell and his family. Folks can walk into any branch and make a contribution by specifying the account in Harrell’s name.

MONDAY’S SHOOTING

Officials say after Harrell initiated the traffic stop Monday, he went to his vehicle after obtaining information on three men inside another vehicle. Jones reportedly said he was “not going back to jail,” and fired at Harrell, striking him at least twice in the facial area, Wilson County sheriff’s officials have said.

Harrell returned fire and a chase ensued. After being shot, Harrell continued to chase the suspects until their vehicle turned around and collided with Harrell’s, hitting him head-on and disabling his patrol car, according to the sheriff’s office.

Two other suspects are charged in connection to the shooting — William Allen Boswell, 40, of 5967 Bridgersville Road, Elm City, and 25-year-old Bryan Jeffrey Mullins of 6626 Finch Road, Bailey. They both face one count each of possession of a stolen vehicle. One of those suspects remained at the scene and surrendered to authorities. Later that night, a second suspect surrendered to officials in an adjacent wooded area on Sharon Acres Road near Haynes Road.

Jones was captured around midnight after he was found in a wooded area off Cattail Road near Weaver Road southeast of Elm City.

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