Sergeant John Hugh Howell, II

Sergeant John Hugh Howell, II

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, August 26, 1973

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John Hugh Howell, II

Sergeant John Howell was shot and killed after responding to a domestic dispute in which a man had assaulted his daughter.

When Sergeant Howell arrived at the location the man's son let him into the house. While inside he exchanged shots with the father, who was armed with a .22 caliber rifle. Sergeant Howell was struck in the chest and hand. He was able to make it to his patrol car and called for assistance before succumbing to his wounds.

The suspect was arrested and charged with murder and assault. He was convicted of second degree murder on March 1st, 1974, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was released on May 28th, 1982. In May of 1995 he was killed when a tractor turned over on top of him.

Sergeant Howell was U.S. Army veteran and Bronze Star recipient of the Vietnam War. He had served with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office for two years and was survived by his parents.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to 25 years

Most Recent Reflection

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John Howell was my next door neighbor when I was growing up. We called him Johnny. I was 12 years old when he was killed. When he was in service in Vietnam, his parents would get tapes with messages from him. His mother would call us to come up to her house play them to our family. We were so relieved when his tour of duty was over and he came home. We never dreamed that he would be killed about 2 years later. I will never forget him riding up the drive on his motorcycle and his friendly smile. On the day that he was killed, we passed him in his patrol car on the way to church for youth fellowship. Little did we know that it would be the last time that we would wave at him or see him alive. When we came home from church, we were informed by neighbors about what had happened. The neighborhood was very close friends with one another and everyone was in shock. When Johnny was killed, the sheriff department lost a great deputy and the neighborhood lost a very good friend. Rest in peace dear friend.

Joyce Rhodes
Next door neighbor

August 25, 2019

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