Local News

Friends Gather to Say Goodbye at Chief's Wake

Posted July 19, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Sharpsburg is a small town that's dealing with a big loss. Its police chief, Wayne Hathaway was shot while trying to protect the community he served for 25 years. He lost his battle to live several hours later. The shock of his gut-wrenching death hasn't even begun to wear off. Now the hard task of saying goodbye must begin. Saturday night, the community gathered for Hathaway's wake in Rocky Mount.

You will hear only good things in Sharpsburg, if you ask people about Wayne Hathaway. The police chief that was gunned down in the line of duty Wednesday meant business, according to local residents. But at the same time, he could deal with people in a fair manner.

Friends, family, and fellow officers gathered at the Johnston Funeral Home in Rocky Mount Saturday night to say goodbye to a man who set the standard for police work and for loyalty.

Sergeant Grant of the Rocky Mount Police Department says you often hear about police officers being assaulted or murdered, but it hits home when it happens close by to a fellow officer.

Everyone WRAL'sBrian Bowmanspoke to characterized Chief Hathaway as the kind of man who would do anything for anyone. Folks were proud of the way he upheld the law, and say Hathaway will be sorely missed. Sam McKnight says it best.

"Chief Hathaway helped anyone who needed help. And that's more than I can say about a lot of us. If everybody in Rocky Mount and Sharpsburg were like Wayne Hathaway, the world would be a better place for us to live."