Off-Duty Police Officer Killed While Trying To Prevent Armed Robbery

Authorities have arrested three suspects in connection with the murder of an off-duty police officer who was shot and killed while trying to stop an armed robbery near Greensboro, North Carolina.

Sergeant Philip Dale Nix was killed on Saturday while trying to prevent a group of criminals from robbing a local Sheetz gas station on 3202 Sandy Ridge Road in Colfax, roughly 18 miles northwest of Greensboro. The incident took place shortly after 4 p.m. on Saturday evening.

Nix was off duty at the gas station when he realized a crime was in progress. He immediately jumped into action to try to prevent the robbery, confronting the group. Nix was fatally shot during the heroic attempt, at which point another off-duty officer and a county paramedic tried to revive him. He was then rushed to the hospital, and despite all their efforts, he died from his injuries.

The suspects were later arrested and hit with a myriad of charges. The alleged robbers have been identified as 18-year old Jamere Justice Foster, 18-year-old Z’Quirah Le’Pearce Blackwell and 28-year-old John Walter Morrison. According to ABC 11, Foster has been charged with first-degree murder, while Blackwell and Morrison have been charged with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. The outlet also noted that Foster and Morrison are facing charges of larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny.

Foster and Morrison are being held without bond, while a judge set Blackwell’s bond at $500,000.

After authorities publicly identified Nix as the victim on Sunday, tributes to the heroic police officer began pouring in.

“An off-duty police officer was shot and killed yesterday in Greensboro. He was a father and husband with 22 years of service to his community. Every effort must and will be made to bring those responsible to justice. To the family of the fallen officer and his colleagues at @GSO_Police, you have our deepest sympathy. This is a devastating tragedy and your loss is felt across our entire state,” Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I spoke with Greensboro Police Chief Thompson earlier this evening offering all available state resources to catch those who killed a Greensboro police officer. Our prayers are with the Greensboro police and family and loved ones. Every effort must be made to apprehend those responsible and bring justice in this tragic situation,” wrote North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D).