A Florida man has now been charged in the death of a North Carolina state trooper.
Edwardo Wong, II is being held in the Haywood County jail without bond.
Trooper David Blanton was shot last night after authorities say he stopped Wong's car on I-40 last night. An altercation began between the two and Blanton was fatally shot. The Highway Patrol says Wong removed the troopers weapon and ran from the scene.
Authorities say they found narcotics and weapons in Wong's vehicle. Wong told officers he was traveling from Tennessee.
Troopers say the suspect has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for felony assault on law enforcement officers, felony drug violations, and felony possession of a firearm.
"The Patrol family has lost a member and the state of North Carolina has lost a dedicated public servant," said Colonel Fletcher Clay, commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Blanton, who was from Cherokee, was a two-year veteran of the patrol. He was married and had one child.
Blanton Junior is the first North Carolina State Trooper to die in the line of duty in more than four years and the first to be killed since 1997.
Blanton Junior will be the 59th name placed on the memorial wall at the highway patrol office in Greenville. Troopers say the memorial wall is a reminder of the dangers of their job.
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