A car chase that began in Rowan County early Tuesday morning ended with the suspect being shot by authorities in Randolph County.
The Rowan County Sherriff’s Office outlined the following events in a news release:
On Monday, Rowan County deputies answered a call concerning an armed robbery of a taxi driver near China Grove. The incident happened shortly after 5 p.m., when the driver picked up a customer on Rock Hill Church Road in Concord and transported him to Arcadia and Rogers roads.
The driver told the customer the bill amount, and the customer then demanded all of the driver’s money. The driver told authorities she saw the suspect point a pink handgun at her face and pull the trigger, but the gun did not fire.
The driver then began fighting for control of the gun and the suspect fired the weapon, but the bullet missed the driver and damaged the vehicle’s window. The suspect then got out of the car and began walking to the driver’s side while pointing the gun at the driver. That’s when the driver sped away, leaving the man in the road.
Deputies began investigating and contacted Concord police. Officers there identified 21-year-old Troy Chase Caster as the suspect. Investigators said Castor was wanted by the Salisbury Police Department for larceny of a firearm stemming from an incident Jan. 4.
Salisbury authorities had taken out warrants for Caster’s arrest, but had been unable to locate him.
Rowan County deputies then obtained felony warrants for Caster’s arrest on charges of attempted armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Deputies also began searching for Caster throughout the night.
Around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, deputies saw Caster in the area of his home on Phaniels Church Road and attempted to stop the vehicle but it sped away.
Authorities pursued the suspect into Rockwell and onto N.C. 52 toward Stanly County. The chase topped speeds of 100 mph as it continued into the counties of Stanly, Davidson and finally Randolph, where the North Carolina Highway Patrol joined the chase.
Deputies said they allowed the Highway Patrol to take the lead in the pursuit as the suspect slowed below 100 mph. The chase continued, and the suspect was stopped at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.
Deputies said shots were fired by law enforcement and hit the suspect; no officers involved were injured.
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the officer-involved shooting, which is standard protocol. The investigation is ongoing.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office stated in the release that Caster had applied for a pistol purchase permit on Dec. 11, 2019, and that request was denied.
Caster had a criminal history involving misdemeanor larceny and misdemeanor breaking and entering, state records indicated.