Local News

Investigators Piece Together Events in...

Posted September 25, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— After two days of trying to grasp the the reality, people across the state are still trying to piece together the twisted details that led to the deaths of a Highway Patrolman and a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy. Funerals are set for Friday for Trooper Ed Lowry and Deputy David Hathcock.

Investigators are still hard at work tracing the incidents that led up to the Tuesday shooting. They are not revealing much information about what they have found. They have, however, said they have interviewed several witnesses who have helped them compile enough information to obtain a search warrant affidavit.

Most law enforcement officers agree that the two slain men never had a chance. According to papers filed in the warrant request, Trooper Lowry had pulled over the two suspects, teenaged brothers Kevin and Tilmon Golphin, and had Kevin Golphin, 17, in his patrol car while he wrote a ticket. While in the car, a dispatcher told him the Toyota Camry the Golphins were riding in was stolen, and that the men inside should be considered armed and dangerous.

Lowry then pulled Kevin Golphin out of the patrol car and was attempting to handcuff him when the suspect began to struggle. That's when Lowry asked Hathcock to help, but Tilmon Golphin, 19, grabbed a Chinese-made SKS automatic rifle from the Camry's back seat and opened fire on the two officers. He, according to papers, shot and killed Hathcock, then shot at Lowry. Kevin Golphin then grabbed Lowry's gun and shot the officer several more times.

Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler says the Golphins' alleged actions show a total disregard for life.

Butler says investigators believe the two officers had no time to respond to the gunfire.

Cumberland County Chief Deputy Cuyler Windham says law enforcement will be stationed all over the area to assist with the procession.

Funeral processions for both services will start at the Auditorium on State Highway 301. The procession from Trooper Lowry's funeral will travel north on 301 and turn onto Owen Drive. The cars will travel down Owen drive until it turns into All American Freeway. The cars will then turn on Raeford Road heading for Cumberland Memorial Gardens, which is on the left.

The procession for Deputy Hathcock procession also begins at the Auditorium, but traffic will travel south on 301 to State Highway 59. The procession will then follow down 59 to South Main Street in Hope Mills toward Gilmont Cemetery.

Thursday evening, the community will begin to pay tribute to the slain officers. The public is welcome to attend visitation services from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Visitation for Trooper Ed Lowry will be held at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The service for Deputy David Hathcock will be held at the Cumberland Church of God on Hope Mills Road.

The funerals will take place Friday. Both services will be held at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Lowry's service begins 11 a.m. Hathcock's funeral begins at 2 p.m.

Windham says thousands of officers from as far away as California will attend the services in a strong show of loyalty.

In addition to their friends in law enforcement, both men left behind families. Hathcock is survived by a wife and three sons. Lowry leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a grandchild.

To donate to a scholarship fund for Trooper Lowry's children, send contributions to:Trooper Lloyd "E" Lowry Scholarship Fund, Triangle Bank, P.O. Box 20485, Greenville, NC, 27858. To donate to a fund for Deputy Hathcock's dependents, send contributions to: First Citizens Bank, 3626, North Main Street, Hope Mills, NC 28348.