GREENSBORO, N.C. – Three individuals have been arrested in connection with the murder of an off-duty police officer, Sgt. Philip Dale Nix, who was fatally shot while attempting to thwart a theft at a gas station in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The tragic incident took place at a Sheetz gas station around 4 p.m. last Saturday. Chief John Thompson of the Greensboro Police Department disclosed that Nix observed a crime in progress and approached the suspects, after which he was shot. Despite the efforts of another off-duty police officer and a Guilford County paramedic, Nix succumbed to his injuries upon arrival at the hospital. Further details surrounding the shooting were not released.
During an emotional press conference, Thompson mournfully described Nix as a devoted husband, father, son, and brother with 23 years of service with the department. The announcement of the arrest of three suspects, Jamere Justice Foster, Z’quriah Le’Pearce Blackwell, and John Walter Morrison, was made by Thompson the following day.
Foster faces charges of first-degree murder, larceny, and conspiracy to commit larceny, while Blackwell has been arrested on charges of accessory after the fact of first-degree murder. Morrison is charged with accessory after the fact of first-degree murder, larceny, and conspiracy to commit larceny. Foster and Morrison are being held without bond, while Blackwell has a bond set at $500,000.
Nix’s leadership and dedication were highlighted by Mayor Nancy Vaughn, who also emphasized the senselessness of the violent act. The mayor stressed the need for remembrance and offered condolences to the families and fellow officers affected by the tragedy.