A Florida Highway Patrol trooper who was shot in June 2015 during a traffic stop in Brevard County has been honored as the 2016 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
- FHP trooper shot in 2015 wins statewide award
- Lt. Channing Taylor shot in Cocoa in 2015
- Attorney General Pam Bondi made announcement
Attorney General Pam Bondi on Wednesday announced that FHP Lt. Channing Taylor won the award. Taylor and nine other officers from the across the state were recognized for their dedication to protecting Floridians.
While on patrol June 14, 2015, Taylor noticed a pickup truck being driven without headlights. Taylor approached the vehicle and asked the driver for her license.
A male passenger, later identified as Zane Terryn, pulled out a revolver and fired at Taylor, striking him once in the shoulder. Taylor took cover and drew his agency-issued firearm. When Terryn and his 16-year-old girlfriend tried to flee, Taylor fired his gun, striking Terryn and causing the vehicle to stop.
Terryn died in the shootout, and his girlfriend, Morgan McNeil, eventually pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, second-degree murder and resisting arrest.
McNeil was sentenced to spend the rest of her juvenile years in a detention center for her involvement in the shooting.
Investigators said the teens planned to drive to Ohio and commit suicide.
"I am eternally grateful for these nominees and all our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep us safe," Bondi said in a statement. "We cannot thank these officers enough for the sacrifices they and their families make to protect our communities."
Taylor is a 22-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol.
A selection committee appointed by Bondi considered the group of nominees from state agencies and organizations.
The following law enforcement officers are the additional nominees:
- Officer Christopher Ayala, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
- Officer David Brady, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Deputy Emanuel Gonzalez, Osceola County Sheriff's Office
- Officer Jason Hutchinson, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Officer Niel Johnson, North Miami Police Department
- Special Agent Travis Lawson, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- Investigator Jason Newlin, the State Attorney's Office for the Second Judicial Circuit
- Investigator Jayson Paul, Volusia County Sheriff's Office
- Deputy Nicholas Worthy, Brevard County Sheriff's Office
For more information on the nominees' accomplishments, click here.