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Hero’s homecoming greets injured trooper

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Trooper Daniel Harrell returned home to a hero’s welcome Wednesday, two days after he was shot during a traffic stop near Elm City.

Dozens of state troopers, friends, family members and well-wishers were stationed outside Vidant Medical Center in Greenville to show their support as the five-year N.C. Highway Patrol veteran assigned to Wilson County was released from the hospital.

Numerous first responders, including fellow troopers and Wilson County sheriff’s deputies, escorted Harrell home.

Motorists reported seeing a fire truck at every bridge as well as an American flag hanging from a ladder truck. Highway Patrol Sgt. Bennie Pulliam said Harrell was surrounded by troopers and others when he returned home. Parker’s Barbecue delivered a large spread of food for the Harrell family and fellow law enforcement officers.

“Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts,” read a North Carolina Troopers Association Facebook page post. “This warrior gets to see many more days with his loving family, his brothers and his sisters.”

Authorities say 36-year-old John David Jones shot Harrell in the face after the trooper initiated a traffic stop for a towing violation on Haynes Road east of Elm City on Monday afternoon.

Jones, who is being held under a $1 million bond, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, assault inflicting serious injury on a law enforcement official and felony speeding to elude arrest.

“We are still investigating the case in its entirety with additional charges forthcoming,” Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard told The Wilson Times on Wednesday.

Officials say after Harrell initiated the traffic stop, he went to his vehicle after obtaining information on the 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, the 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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