Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sergeant John Hugh Howell, II

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, August 26, 1973

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Reflections for Sergeant John Hugh Howell, II

God rest his soul.

Sgt. Robert A. Henne
Jersey City PD/Ret.

February 3, 2024

Sgt. Howell,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 26, 2023

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 26, 2020

Rest in peace Sergeant Howell.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 4, 2020

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

I was 12 on this day. I was at my grandparents house of which my grandfather served some as jailer. I was there at the house also with my dad and my uncle, of which was a Lincoln County deputy at the time. I remember as we three were standing in the yard, the phone ring. My uncle stated, something bad has happened, by the phone ring. Amazing it was just a phone ring. But my uncle was called to the phone to learn his friend and fellow officer John had been shot and murdered, while responding to aid on a domestic dispute call. I will always remember that day. Thanks John for being a public servant and your service to our Country in the military. I am ashamed of how you and others that served our Country in this era (especially our veterans that are black) were treated so unimaginable . May you of all your service and sacrifice be remember better this year, in that we will honor you by us serving our fellow man by your example.

Alan H. Hoyle GySgt USMC retired
USMC and Candidate for Sheriff

May 16, 2018

I never met Sgt. Howell personally, yet on the many visits to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, I would stop by your picture in the lobby. I have thought of your ultimate sacrifice often to the citizens of Lincoln County and wish I had the opportunity to meet and get to know you.

Jon Mayhew, Retired Publisher
The Carolina Scoop

September 14, 2014

Gone, but not forgotten.

Sgt. T. J. Jones
Greater Cleveland Transit Police Department

August 26, 2013

John was my second cousin. He served in the Army in Vietnam and his parents were both Army veterans of WWII. I was on 14 when this happened,and went with my dad and other family members to try and comfort his mom and dad. A great guy-and still missed. Thanks to all who served with him and are serving now in Lincoln County


April 27, 2013

When I first came to the Sherrif's Office, I saw the name John Howell Memorial Drive. It was not until I joined the Explorer Post and Dylan Houser, Lt. Alan Houser and Sgt. Todd Spitzer told me about your heroics that fatal evening in 1973. Thank you so much for your service to Lincoln County, you are greatly missed by all who knew you.

Cadet Kenny Lowe
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

December 5, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 36th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was murdered on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya


August 26, 2009

On the 35th anniversary of Sergeant Howell’s death, we honored his service during roll call by reading his entry from ODMP. Each day, we honor one fallen officer on the anniversary of their death so as to keep them in our thoughts, and also to remind us of the dangers inherent in our job.

Sergeant Howell may be gone, but is not forgotten.

Sergeant Jeffrey W. Timmons
First Responder Unit
United States Capitol Police
Washington, D.C.


August 26, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 27, 2007



August 26, 2007

John I still see you getting out of that patrol car on Sunday morning around 2 a.m. on the 26th of August walking across that jail parking lot saying I'll see you tommorow "root". It never entered my mind that we would never ride together again. In a short period of time you became a dear friend to me and I still miss you but I know your keeping God company

Lt. Gene Sain (Ret)
Lincoln County S.O.

August 16, 2006

Deputy Howell,
On today, the 32nd anniversary of your murder, I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice, not just for your community but for your service in Vietnam as well.


August 26, 2005

Unfortunately I never had the privilege to know you Sgt. Howell. I have however had the honor of serving with several officers who did have that privilege and they all speak very highly of you and recall you being one of the finest that they have ever served with! God speed Sgt. Howell and thank you for your sacrifice! We shall continue to do our best to carry on here in Lincoln County, but know that you are sorely missed dear Brother!

Deputy Sheriff Patrol C.A. Crawley
Lincoln County Sheriffs Office

June 18, 2004

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