Hope Mills Police Officer Dies While Chasing Suspect

A Hope Mills police sergeant died Thursday after collapsing while chasing a suspect.

Authorities say Sergeant Heath Hardin was running in a heavily wooded area along U-S 301 at the time. Police say the two suspects had stolen gas from a Wal-Mart, and their car was spotted a few hours later.

The suspects fled, but police managed to immediately apprehend one of them. Hardin and other officers followed the other suspect into the woods, where he later collapsed and died. Police say they later caught the second man.

Hardin, who had been promoted from corporal to sergeant in July, is survived by his wife, Shelly, and two children.