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Sharpsburg Streets Lined with Mourners for Slain Police Chief

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Chief Wayne Hathaway
SHARPSBURG — For the second time thismonth, law enforcement officers from all over the state joined an entirecommunity to honor and mourn a fallen comrade. Sunday, the tiny town ofSharpsburg turned out to say goodbye to its chief of police.

Chief Wayne Hathaway, 47, was shot and killed in the line of dutyafter serving Sharpsburg for more than half of his life.

During his 25 years of service, he became more than just alaw enforcement officer. To many, he became a friend. Sunday, hundredscame out to say goodbye to that friend, vowing that his service to thecommunity will never be forgotten.

As townspeople and travelers lined the streets, a 21-gun salute echoedthroughout the small town as Chief Hathaway waslaid to rest.

Fellow officers from across North Carolina said they were heartened bythe support in such a tragic circumstance. Sgt. Ron Smith of the PittCounty Sheriff's Department said it made him feel good to see such a largeturnout to pay respects to Chief Hathaway.

Sgt. Martin McCoy of the Rocky Mount Police Department said he felt theturnout also reflected the esteem in which Hathaway was held, and the typeof person he was.

Hathaway was shot in the head while responding to a routinedomestic dispute call last Thursday. He died at Duke Medical Center Fridaymorning.

Abner Nicholson is charged with the murder of his wife, GloriaNicholson, and Hathaway. Police say Hathaway walked inside the couple's mobile home to talk toNicholson. That's when police say Nicholson spun around, put a gun to theChief's head and pulled the trigger. They say Nicholson then shot andkilled his wife Gloria.

Memorial funds have been established at Triangle Bank, (P.O. Box 123,Sharpsburg, NC, 27878) in the names of both victims.

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