Armed robbery of NC cab driver sparks multi-county chase; ends in fatal shooting of suspect

An armed robbery of a cab driver in Rowan County Monday led to a police chase and fatal shooting of the presumed suspect outside North Carolina Zoo gates Tuesday, according to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office. 

The armed robbery happened shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6. at Arcadia Road and Rogers Road near China Grove. Deputies told FOX 46 a woman picked up the suspect, later identified as Troy Chase Caster, 21, in a taxi cab on Rock Hill Church Road in Concord and drove him to the Arcadia Road location. 

The driver told Caster what the bill was and after that, Caster demanded all of the driver’s money, deputies said. 

According to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, when the taxi driver looked back at Caster he reportedly pointed a pink handgun at her face and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t fire.

"The taxi driver began fighting to control the gun and the suspect was able to fire the gun, but the bullet passed by the taxi driver and damaged the vehicle’s window," the sheriff's office said. "The suspect exited the car and began walking around to the driver’s side pointing the gun at the victim. The taxi driver then sped away leaving the suspect standing in the roadway." 

Warrants were obtained for Caster's arrest for felony attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon with intent to kill. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 7, deputies spotted Caster operating a vehicle on Phaniels Church Road. Rowan County deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over but Caster refused to stop, leading authorities on a chase into Stanly County, going into Davidson County, and then into Randolph County. 

The chase, which at times hit 100 mph, finally ended outside the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. Deputies forcibly ended the chase on a gravel road behind the North Carolina Zoo where shots were fired. The suspect, Caster, succumbed to his injuries at the scene and he was pronounced dead. 

The North Carolina SBI has assumed investigation of the incident.

The North Carolina Zoo issued the following statement on Tuesday: 

"This morning around 7:30 a.m. a situation involving a suspect ended outside the NC Zoo’s gate. Randolph County Sheriff’s Department is in control of the situation and the Zoo is safe and will be open today. The incident occurred in a remote parking lot which is currently closed for the season."