Investigators say the weapon found on a man killed in a shootout with police in Gastonia, North Carolina matches the gun used in five serial killings in Cherokee County. SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd says he believes the killer is finally off the streets. He stated that the ballistic tests connect the gun found on the Gaston County suspect to the murders in Gaffney, only 30 miles away. The suspect and his vehicle also appeared to match descriptions circulated by investigators.
Early Monday police received a call about a possible burglary in progress. Reports indicate that when they entered the residence, they found two people who lived there and a third who was an acquaintance. A check on the suspect individual uncovered an outstanding warrant from nearby Lincoln County. Officers attempted to serve the warrant when the suspect pulled a gun and fired. Authorities say officers returned fire killing the suspect. One officer was shot in the leg and was treated and released.
Approximately 100 law enforcement officers from South and North Carolina have been working on the case.
The killer’s latest victim was 15-year-old Abby Tyler who died Saturday. She had been shot in the head at a family-run furniture-appliance store Thursday evening after she went to check on her father. Her father, Stephen Tyler, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The first shooting occurred June 27, when peach farmer Kline Cash, 63, was killed. His wife returned from a shopping trip to find him dead in their home. Authorities believe robbery was the motive. Four days later, the bound and shot bodies of Hazel Linder, 83, and her 50-year-old daughter, Gena Linder Parker, were found in the Linders’ home.