Local News

Laurinburg Police Sergeant Shot; Gunman Kills Self

Posted June 25, 1998

— A Scotland County police officer is in critical condition Saturday, recovering from a gunshot wound. Investigators say Laurinburg Police Sergeant Doug Bowen was shot Thursday night while securing a murder scene. The gunman then turned the weapon on himself.

All that is left is the aftermath of terror, terror police say started when Larry Patterson shot and killed Eddie McLain, a man he had been arguing with for several days. Investigators say Patterson then opened fired on the other people in the front yard but didn't hit anyone. That was only the beginning.

"He shortly afterward left the scene and came back, and behind the brick fence on Stuartsville Road, he started shooting ambush style at the officers," said Chief Robert Malloy. "He struck Sgt. Bowen in the lower part of the leg. The officers were securing the crime scene along with Sgt. Bowen. Bowen was having a vehicle turn around at the time, so he was totally unaware of what was going on until he was shot. He never drew his weapon from my understanding."

Police say Patterson also hit, but only slightly wounded a small girl before turning the assault rifle on himself. Sara Sweat is Patterson's grandmother. She raised the 20-year-old man since he was a young child.

"I guess after he shot that person, well you know how it is," Sweat said, "You have to be punished, and I guess he didn't want to be punished for it, so I guess he just shot himself. I hope it's a lesson to all young -- I'm going to say it just how i feel it -- all young black men- young men. Because see, they're killing themselves. No one else is killing them. They're killing themselves, and I hope this will be a lesson."

Sgt. Doug Bowen is a 12 year veteran of the Laurinburg Police Department.

Chief Malloy says both Patterson and McClain had criminal records. Police had been called to the homicide scene several weeks earlier because of numerous complaints of drugs being sold at the house.

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