Local News

Teen Brothers Charged with Law Enforcement Murders

Posted September 23, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A pair of teenage brothers are being held in the Cumberland County jail without bond, charged with two counts each of first degree murder. The South Carolina teens allegedly gunned down State Trooper Ed Lowry and Cumberland County Deputy David Hathcock on Interstate-95 Tuesday afternoon.

The two suspects, 17-year-old Kevin Salvador Golphin and 19-year-old Tilmon Charles Golphin, were captured about 21 miles north of the shooting scene, Sheriff Moose Butler said. They were captured in Harnett County after they abandoned a car they allegedly stole from South Carolina.

``I was not there but they captured them in Harnett County. They jumped out of the vehicle and ran. When they ran, officers from the Highway Patrol and the FBI were able to capture one and then capture the other,'' he said.

The shooting happened at the N.C. 24 exit, near mile marker 52. Police say the Trooper Lowry, 47, who went by the name Ed, was conducting a routine traffic stop when he discovered the car he was pursuing was stolen from South Carolina. He called for backup, and the response came from Deputy Hathcock, 57, who was in the area. The deputy's duties usually consisted of serving civil papers.

After shooting Lowry and Hathcock with an automatic weapon, the suspects drove north on I-95 in a Toyota Camry. They took with them a weapon from one of the two slain officers, Butler said.

The suspects also shot at people in a car who saw them. Gunfire was eventually exchanged between police and the suspects in front of many witnesses. Neither of the suspects was injured.

The high speed chase covered about 21 miles and came to an end near mile marker 71, where witness Jerry Purcell said the suspects tried to take an exit. He says the car spun out of control and the suspects got out and ran.

Trucker Terry Hyatt was parked in a Hardee's lot nearby. He says he saw the suspects running toward him, carrying large handguns. He locked himself in his truck and watched the two men try to get into a truck parked next to him.

Traffic on I-95 was closed as authorities investigated the killings.

Butler said at least one AK-47 and one of the officers' handguns were recovered from the suspects' car.

Harnett County Sheriff Larry Knott talked to WRAL-TV5's Bret Baier at the scene of the capture. He said the suspects were quickly captured.

"It's a sad day that we're living in a society that's so violent that an officer can just do a routine job, a routine stop that he shouldn't feel threatened doing and then winds up killed," Butler said.

Captain L.S. Goodson of the Highway Patrol expressed his frustration over the situation. He says it's sad day when two fine officers lose their lives to "thugs."

Trooper Lowry joined the NC Highway Patrol in 1975. Lowry and Hathcock both leave behind wives and children.

The two slayings Tuesday bring to four the number of area law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. In July, Raleigh police officer Paul Hale was shot to death as he approached a murder suspect. A few days later, Sharpsburg Police Chief Wayne Hathaway was shot and killed after responding to a domestic call. The trooper killed in Tuesday's incident is the first highway patrolman to be shot to death in the line of duty in 12 years.

,Kerrie Hudzinski, andMJ Ainsley