An officer from the North Myrtle Beach Police Department in South Carolina was praised for her quick thinking and intuition after she acted without hesitation to successfully save a kidnapping victim and arrest the suspect, who had just committed a shooting.
According to police, the incident took place during the early morning hours of Sunday, May 28. Officer Kayla Wallace was conducting a routine patrol along Highway 17 in North Myrtle Beach when she observed a white Jeep run a red light and promptly responded to the traffic violation.
Upon pulling over the vehicle, the officer confronted two individuals — a female driver and a male passenger. It was apparent to Wallace that the driver was distressed, but it was the unspoken plea for help that caught her attention.
While the male passenger was momentarily distracted and not looking at the driver, the woman silently mouthed the words “Help me” repeatedly, making Wallace acutely aware of the potential danger lurking within the vehicle.
Reacting swiftly, she safely removed the male passenger from the Jeep, securing him in the back seat of her patrol car.
Returning to the Jeep, Wallace engaged in conversation with the driver, who revealed that the passenger had just shot someone. Moments later, radio dispatch transmitted a “Be on the Lookout” alert for the suspect’s white Jeep, further confirming the gravity of the situation.
The suspect, identified as Collins Bates, was promptly arrested on charges including attempted murder and kidnapping. According to a Horry County police report, Bates had allegedly shot an individual outside The Waterway House along North Kings Highway before forcing the woman to drive him away from the crime scene. Additionally, an unlawfully carried pistol was recovered beneath the suspect’s seat.
The North Myrtle Beach Police Department expressed its gratitude for Wallace’s proactive patrolling efforts, even during the final 30 minutes of her shift, which ultimately resulted in the arrest of the shooting suspect.
“We are fortunate to have Officer Wallace as a dedicated member of our department, and her actions highlight the commitment of our officers to the safety and well-being of our community,” the agency stated in a Facebook post.