Sampson County’s sheriff is confident two major crimes — a shooting he’s now calling a homicide and a Newton Grove bank robbery that happened minutes after the body was found shot to death on July 19 — will be solved.
And while Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton is staying tight-lipped about both investigations, he did acknowledge that officers continue to track leads and remain confident those responsible will be brought to justice.
Thornton said Thursday the shooting of 25-year-old Kim Douglass McKoy Jr. of Rose Hill, was, in fact, a homicide, however, he declined to discuss what led to the shooting.
McCoy was shot seven times, according to medical examiner Dr. Carl Barr, but sheriff’s officers stopped short of calling it a homicide immediately after the body was found.
“It was under investigation, which it still is,” the sheriff said. “Right now, as I was then (when it happened), I am not in the position to share information for fear of compromising the investigation.”
But Thornton said that he is positive that the case will be solved.
“There are people of interest and I am going to leave it at that,” he noted. “We have gathered a lot of information and before we say anything we are exhausting every lead in this case.”
Dr. Barr confirmed days after the incident that McKoy had been shot seven times, calling two of the wounds defensive.
On the morning of July 19, a N.C. Department of Transportation mowing crew had come upon the body and called 911. Dr. Barr speculated that the body had been placed there after midnight. Few other details have been released about the incident.
“I don’t want to and I am not going to speculate on what led up to the shooting,” the sheriff stressed. “Like I said before, I do not want to say or do anything to jeopardize this case. But we have gathered a lot of good, solid information and I am confident that it will be solved.”
Within minutes of discovering the body of McKoy on July 19, the Newton Grove BB&T bank was robbed.
Two suspects, both described as black males, went into the bank, located at 307 Main St., around 9:15 a.m. brandishing weapons and demanding money.
“This is another case that we have received a lot of good information on from the public,” the sheriff said. “The body was discovered that morning and three minutes later, the bank was robbed. No one was injured, thank God, but the suspects took off on foot and we have some great leads.”
Again, Thornton said he could not divulge too much information for fear of hurting the case.
“Our investigators are working in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” Thornton said. “And all I can tell you is that we are still working both cases. But I know that both will be solved.”
If you have any information on either case, you are asked to call the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-592-4141.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.