Police said teen brothers on a crime spree are responsible for the murdersof Highway Patrol Officer Lloyd "Ed" Lowry and Cumberland County Sheriff'sDeputy David Hathcock.
It's been said when a police officer dies, a piece of America dies. Quitea few people in Fayetteville said the tragedy goes beyond the policecommunity and extends into the heart of Cumberland County, the state andthe nation. A long process of healing will begin as officers come forwardfor counseling, soul-searching, and prayers as they remember two officerswho paid the ultimate price.
Lowry and Hathcock were veteran officers. Lowry was on the Highway Patrolfor 22 years. Hathcock was with the sheriff's department for 19 years. Thenews of their death was hard to believe, difficult to overcome.
"Both of those officers will be in our memory forever," said 1st Sgt.Steve McCorquodale, NC Highway Patrol. "I don't want to forget them."
McCorquodale knew both officers. Lowry was his friend and neighbor.
"He was a seasoned officer," said McCorquodale. "What I remember most about him was his compassion for his fellow man."
Chaplain Norman Mitchell of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department knew Hathcock for 14 years. He had to break the news to Hathcock's family.Mitchell said Hathcock's wife told him she wanted her husband to stay homeand spend the day with her.
The law enforcement community is like a close-knit family that stays together. Early Tuesday with the tragic news still fresh on their minds,members of the sheriff's department consoled each other. Mitchell said it'snow time for the entire community to reach out to law enforcement officers.
A program Mitchell hopes people will rally around is called "Shield aBadge." In essence, Mitchell said groups will shield a badge in prayer,meaning that they will collect the names of all the officers that servethe Cumberland County area and churches, pastors and members of the community will vow to pray for those officers on a daily basis. It's theleast, they say, they can do to help out and to remember and showgratitude for the men and women who swear to protect and serve citizens.