GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A Nash County deputy who was shot multiple times along Interstate 95 on Thursday is “in good spirits” Friday morning, the sheriff’s office said.

Toney is expected to be released from the hospital within the next few days, the sheriffs office said.

Deputy William Toney. Photo: Nash County Sheriffs Office

The shooting happened around 9:30 a.m. on I-95 southbound, north of Rocky Mount at mile marker 145.

According to Sheriff Keith Stone, one of the Nash County criminal addiction units was working traffic on I-95 when a 2008 Mercedes Benz with Florida tags was speeding.

Deputy Shelby Smith then attempted to stop the car to issue a warning citation. When the deputy attempted to get the driver’s license from the person in the car, the man, identified as Jarred Ford, 33 of St. Petersburg, Florida, handed the deputy a forged license.

The sheriff said Smith determined there was criminal activity during the traffic stop and called a K9 unit to the scene.

Deputy William Toney, a K9 handler, came up to the vehicle and asked the driver to get out of the car. A conversation ensued and that’s when Ford brandished a firearm and started shooting, striking Toney three or four times, the sheriff said.

Smith returned fire and the suspect made his way into a ditch, losing his weapon, Stone said.

Smith held Ford at gunpoint until additional units could arrive on scene, Stone said.

Toney was suffering from several gunshot wounds and actively bleeding when additional units arrived on scene. Ford also had a gunshot wound and first aid was immediately administered to Toney and Ford, the sheriff said.

Toney was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he was taken into surgery, the sheriff said. Ford was also hospitalized at Vidant.

On Friday morning, the sheriff’s office said that Toney remains in the hospital but “He’s in good spirits and recovering in Greenville.”

Ford remains in the hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.

Smith is now at home, the sheriff’s office said.