Local News

Search On for Murderer of Rich Square Police Chief

Posted July 15, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— State and local law officers have descended on Northampton County to help in the search for the man who gunned down Rich Square's police chief.

Routine duties turned to tragedy Sunday, when Chief Joseph White, 61, was fatally shot with a .45 caliber handgun, a gun thought to have been taken from the chief. That gun is missing.

A search is under way for a black male driving a dark green Ford Explorer.

Authorities did pull over a man in Garysburg who was thought to match the description of the suspect, but he was not detained. Law officers have been verifying his alibi and are keeping track of his whereabouts, according to Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent.

Save for that person, however, the officers have not had a lot to go on. They are checking out even remote leads in their effort to find the person who gunned down White.

The shooting occurred a few minutes past 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the town's dialysis center. White had earlier radioed to the dispatcher that the door to the dialysis center was open.

White was one of Rich Square's five police officers, two of whom are full-time. He had 30 years in law enforcement, taking over as Rich Square police chief 18 months ago.

Monday morning, white bows and ribbons were affixed to doors and light poles in this town of 900, in memory of the chief.

"He was a small town police officer; he just cared about the town," said store owner Theresa Vick.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Northampton Sheriff's Office at 252-534-2611.