Man accused of shooting at trooper on I-40 held under $1M bond

March 5, 2019

The man accused of shooting at a Highway Patrol trooper during a chase early Tuesday is now being held under a $1 million bond following his first court appearance in Orange County.

Tyler Lloyd Grantz, 20, of Kernersville, was taken into custody Tuesday morning near Blackwood Mountain Road during a massive manhunt that involved at least 100 law enforcement officers.

Grantz made his first court appearance at about 2 p.m. on charges including attempted first-degree murder.

The manhunt used K9s and drones and officers from four law enforcement agencies in a wooded area in Orange County. Investigators started pulling back, trying to become less visible, to give the suspect a false sense of security. Officers found Grantz while he was fleeing on foot.

Knox said a Highway Patrol trooper was trying to stop a 2008 GMC SUV that was going about 100 mph on Interstate 40 around 2 a.m. The driver didn’t stop, and a pursuit lasted about 4 miles.

The driver crashed at the New Hope Church Road exit near Hillsborough, Knox said. During the chase, Grantz shot at the trooper multiple times, he said. The trooper immediately retreated into his vehicle, which was hit in the front. The trooper was not injured.

The trooper has been with the Highway Patrol for a couple of years, Knox said, declining to identify him. Knox said the trooper wanted to help search for the suspect but was told to rest.

Officials said the trooper did not return fire.

Knox said Grantz was boastful when he was arrested and asked if officers were proud of themselves.

Knox said they were.

The vehicle Grantz was driving was reported as stolen out of Greensboro on Feb. 20.

Four area schools had been under a “soft” lockdown: New Hope Elementary School, Morris Grove Elementary School, A.L. Stanback Middle School and Partnership Academy. Outside doors were locked, but classes were resuming as normal inside.

The lockdown was lifted after Grantz was taken into custody.