Staley man shot, killed by State Trooper after traffic stop in Siler City

Suspect displayed a gun after being pulled for seat belt violation


SILER CITY — A Staley man was shot and killed by a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper during a traffic stop Monday afternoon on Harmony Drive, near Solo Drive.

The Highway Patrol told the News + Record that Mark Anthony Diaz, 21, of Staley, driving a Ford pickup truck, was stopped at 4:37 p.m. for a seatbelt violation.

“During the course of the traffic stop, the suspect presented a pistol and the member fired his service weapon, striking the suspect,” said First Sergeant Christopher D. Knox, a public information officer for the Highway Patrol. “Authorities on the scene immediately began life-saving procedures until emergency medical personnel arrived. The driver was transported from the scene, but he was pronounced deceased at a later time. The involved trooper was not injured during the traffic stop. A passenger fled from the traffic stop but later returned to the scene during the investigation.”   

Trooper Rodney N. Cook was identified as the involved member, according to Knox. Cook is a 16-year veteran stationed in Troop D, District 1 in Chatham County. He will be placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation which is agency protocol in any trooper-involved shooting.  

This is a developing story and will be updated.