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Chase into Stanly ends in death of robbery suspect

A Rockwell man who was involved in a Monday attempted robbery of a taxi driver then led Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase through three counties and is now dead, according to Randolph and Rowan County Sheriff’s offices.

Troy Chase Caster, 21, of Phaniels Church Road, was shot late Tuesday morning. The circumstances surrounding the shooting at this point are unclear.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said they began investigating Caster on Monday after a female taxi driver with Carolina Taxi told them he tried to rob her at Arcadia Road and Rogers Road, near China Grove, shortly after 5 p.m., according to Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

The driver said she picked up a white male customer on Rock Hill Church Road, in Concord, and drove him to the Arcadia Road location. Authorities said that male was later identified as Troy Caster.

The driver told the male how much he owed her and he demanded all of the driver’s money. When the taxi driver looked back at the suspect she said he 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 suspect got out of 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.

The investigation linked Caster to the attempted robbery and shooting. He was also being sought by Salisbury Police for larceny of a firearm. Caster was identified as the suspect in the larceny of a pink handgun on Saturday. Salisbury Police obtained warrants for Caster’s arrest but had been unable to locate him, Sifford said.

Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies obtained felony warrants for Caster for attempted armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The Sheriff’s Office began the search to arrest Caster. Throughout the night Rowan County deputies responded to numerous locations attempting to locate Caster, Sifford said.

At about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Rowan County deputies spotted Caster in the area of his residence on Phaniels Church Road. Deputies attempted to perform a traffic stop on the suspect, but he failed to stop and sped away, authorities said.

Rowan deputies pursued the suspect into Rockwell and onto U.S. Highway 52, toward Stanly County. The suspect reached speeds of more than 100 mph as the chase continued, and entered into Stanly. The chase continued into Stanly, into Davidson County and then into Randolph County, where N.C. Highway Patrol troopers joined the chase, along with units of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

Rowan County Sheriff units allowed the Highway Patrol and Randolph County Sheriff’s units to take the lead in the chase as the suspect slowed his speeds below 100 mph, Sifford said.

The chase continued to the area of the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro. The suspect vehicle was finally stopped at the zoo. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck. None of the law enforcement officers involved were injured. Randolph County Sheriff and N.C. SBI are investigating the officer-involved shooting.

On Dec. 11, 2019, Caster applied for a pistol purchase permit and was denied the permit by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The case is still an ongoing investigation.

Shavonne Walker is a reporter for The Salisbury Post. Contact her at shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com.