Suspect accused of shooting at trooper in Orange County given $1M bond

Orange County News


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — The man wanted in connection with shooting at a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper during a high-speed chase and crash Tuesday morning is now in custody, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and highway patrol officials.

The suspect was taken into custody after a search involving the highway patrol, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Chapel Hill Police Department, and the Hillsborough Police Department.

The man, identified as 20-year-old Tyler Lloyd Grantz, of Kernersville, was taken into custody in a wooded area near Blackwood Mountain Road.

Grantz is facing three charges, including attempted first-degree murder. Prosecutors believe more charges will come.

He was booked under a $500,000 bond but a judge raised it to $1 million. 

According to officials, Grantz fled on foot into the woods after he crashed his 2008 GMC SUV on Interstate 40 at New Hope Church Road.

The crash was a result of a pursuit involving the highway patrol. Authorities said a trooper gave chase after Grantz refused to stop for a speeding violation. The SUV was clocked at 98 mph at one point, officials said. While the pursuit was underway, Grantz fired multiple shots at the trooper, hitting the trooper’s cruiser at least twice, authorities said.

The trooper was not injured.

Orange County authorities said Grantz was combative with deputies until he was handcuffed. He was not injured during the crash or the subsequent search. He is currently speaking with investigators, officials said.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — A search is underway for a man who authorities say shot at a trooper following a chase and crash near Chapel Hill Tuesday morning.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the incident began at around 2:09 a.m. when a trooper pursued a GMC SUV that was reported stolen out of Greensboro on Feb. 20. The SUV was going approximately 110 mph on Interstate 40 near mile marker. 261

The driver took exit 263 for New Hope Church road and wrecked the SUV by crashing down an embankment, officials said. After crashing the vehicle, the suspect fired shots through his window backward at the trooper’s vehicle, according to authorities. It’s not clear how many shots were fired by the suspect, but the highway patrol said the officer did not return fire and was not injured. The trooper’s vehicle was hit at least twice.

After shooting at the trooper, the suspect fled and a search began in the woods near where the vehicle wrecked.

According to authorities, the highway patrol and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit are both searching for the suspect. Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said that K-9s were able to track the suspect through the woods and off N.C. Highway 86 before they lost his track.

The search right now is focusing on a quadrant in the area of Highway 86 and Homestead Road.

Because the suspect is at large, three schools will be operating on a soft lockdown on Tuesday — Morris Grove Elementary, A.L. Stanback Middle School and New Hope Elementary. Troopers and deputies will also escort buses to school as a precaution.

Blackwood said there are two likely possibilities as to where the suspect is. One possibility is that the suspect had a cellphone on him and called someone to pick him up and he’s now out of the area. The other possibility is that he’s taken shelter somewhere in the area and will reemerge now that it’s daytime in an attempt to get away.

The sheriff said that they can only assume that the suspect is armed and dangerous and are urging the public to call authorities if they see anyone suspicious in the area where the chase ended.

A highway patrol helicopter and multiple drones with heat-seeking technology are also searching the area.

There is no suspect description available at this time.

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