Police officer detains shooting suspect thanks to silent request during traffic stop

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Police Officer Praised for Arrest of Shooting Suspect During Traffic Stop

Quick Response by Officer Kayla Wallace Leads to Arrest

A South Carolina police officer has been praised for her quick thinking during a traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of a shooting suspect. The North Myrtle Beach Police Department acknowledged Officer Kayla Wallace’s attention to detail in a Facebook post titled “Way-to-Go Wednesday.”

Distressed Passenger Silent Plea for Help

Wallace pulled over a white Jeep that ran a red light on US 17 shortly before dawn on May 28. While speaking with the driver and passenger, Wallace noticed that the woman appeared distressed. According to authorities, while the passenger was not looking at the driver, she silently communicated to Wallace to “help me” repeatedly.

Noting the driver’s discreet plea for help, Wallace removed the passenger from the Jeep and placed him in the back seat of his patrol car.

Passenger Charged with Attempted Murder

After speaking again to the woman who was driving, she “frantically” told Wallace that the man sitting in his police vehicle had just shot someone. Shortly thereafter, controllers radioed alert for officers to be on the lookout for a vehicle recently involved in a shooting in Horry County.

The detained passenger was identified as Collins Bates, who is accused of shooting someone outside a sports bar in Myrtle Beach on May 28. Bates, 29, forced a woman to lead him out of the bar after the shooting.

Illegally Carried Handgun Recovered

“Because Officer Wallace proactively patrolled the streets of North Myrtle Beach, including up to the last 30 minutes of her shift, a shooting suspect was apprehended and an illegally carried handgun was recovered under the suspect’s seat,” the police department said in their Facebook post.

Horry County registration records showed Bates was being held without bond on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Bates is also charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and possession of firearms and ammunition, according to registration information.

Commendation for Officer Wallace

The department congratulated Agent Wallace, who was sworn in in 2021, on a “great job.” “Our department and our community are lucky to have Agent Wallace,” the post read.

Wallace’s quick response in the traffic stop shows the importance of attention to detail in apprehending suspects. The North Myrtle Beach Police Department’s acknowledgment of Wallace’s actions in arresting Bates presents an example of commendable policing that keeps the community safe.

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