After giving his first State of the State address to a packed General Assembly Monday night, Gov. Pat McCrory took a detour on his way back to the governor's mansion.
McCrory went to Duke University Hospital in Durham and visited Highway Patrol officer Michael Potts, an 11-year veteran who'd been shot during a routine traffic stop Monday, just an hour before McCrory delivered his speech. He spent time with the officer's family while Potts underwent surgery.
Potts was listed in fair condition Tuesday. Police later charged a prison parolee from Vermont with his shooting. McCrory's visit was unannounced and unpublicized. A spokesman for the governor confirmed it to the Observer.
As mayor of Charlotte, McCrory prided himself on a close relationship with city police. He sometimes rode patrol with them. When he left office in 2009, he recalled a police shooting as his darkest hour. Two police officers, Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton, were shot and killed in 2006.
"That was a very emotional time . .. speaking at that funeral, both funerals," McCrory said at the time. "I didn't think I could make it."
UPDATE: McCrory told the Chamber of Commerce Tuesday that he met with the Trooper's wife and asked the crowd to keep the officer and his family in their prayers.
He said Trooper Potts had done well in surgery and was improving, but had “some difficult times in the months ahead.''
--Jim Morrill, staff writer