Chief of Police Willard Wayne Hathaway

Chief of Police Willard Wayne Hathaway

Sharpsburg Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Friday, July 18, 1997

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Willard Wayne Hathaway

Chief Willard Hathaway succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day after responding to a domestic dispute call. The suspect also shot and killed his wife during the incident.

The suspect, 25, was apprehended following a search involving several hundred officers. On November 10, 1999, the suspect was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder. On November 18, 1999, he was given two death sentences for the murder of his wife and Chief Hathaway, but the death sentence was overturned and he was sentenced to two life sentences.

Chief Hathaway had served as chief of the 6-man department for 25 years. He is survived by his son. A portion of U.S. 301 through Sharpsburg was named after him.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge 601

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, July 17, 1997
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to two life sentences


Most Recent Reflection

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You know who I am and with very few regrets in my life I only wish I could have done something to make ours better unfortunately we were both deprived that opportunity by such a selfish man that still deserves less than what he has. It's a horrible deal and lots of us think miss and love you everyday. I never knew the things you taught me would make me in to the person I have become. I can only pray that someday we will meet again to rejoice the time we spent together. Please know I didn't have any idea that pride and ignorance are on a very thin line and the fact that I take pride in having known you was such a good thing and the good things all come back in time thru Karma. Unfortunately sometimes the bad side of people over come good. I always say we never die as long as we are loved talked about and remembered and so for that I am grateful because I know the good deeds you have done and the mark you left here in this cruel world. Our country is going in a very bad direction and I'm glad you are not here to witness the way officers of law enforcement has and is being viewed and treated because of the way things have been shown to Americans. So glad your not here to see it. Thank you for all you have done for me and everyone you came in contact with here on this God forsaken place. Rest in peace knowing you are not forgotten.
Thank you 81/601 W.W. Hathaway


February 10, 2023

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