Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 5 years
Badge # G-444
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Offender: Sentenced to life
Trooper Giles Harmon was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Haywood County.
Troopers were conducting heightened traffic enforcement in the area due to recent rock slides. The suspect had kidnapped his employer from Kentucky earlier in the day and had the victim in the vehicle when Trooper Harmon stopped him. Two passing truck drivers who witnessed Trooper Harmon's murder tried to run the suspect off the road, but he swerved and escaped. A responding Trooper tried to revive Trooper Harmon but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The suspect abandoned his vehicle and released his abducted employer nearby at Harmon's Den exit. The next day, officers found the employer alive and he was treated at a local hospital for a bullet wound. The suspect was located after a 3-day manhunt involving over 1000 state, local, and federal officers from North Carolina and Tennessee when he was spotted by a North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter on the banks of the Pigeon River just 2 miles from the Tennessee state line. He was arrested by North Carolina Troopers and Waynesville Police.
An investigation revealed that the suspect left Kentucky with his abducted employer to locate and murder his ex-wife in North Carolina.
The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on October 16, 1985.
The North Carolina General Assembly passed a resolution commending Trooper Harmon the day after his murder.
Trooper Harmon was assigned to Trooper G, District 4, in Buncombe County. He had been a member of the North Carolina Highway Patrol for five years and had previously served as a Brevard, North Carolina, police officer. A section of Highway 276 in Brevard was renamed in his honor.
He is survived by his wife, who was a Buncombe County sheriff's deputy, and his parents.