Massive manhunt for suspected murderer of retired police officer expands

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CONWAY, SC– On March 5th, retired Conway Police Lieutenant James Odell Cochran, 65, was murdered by Eric Kwajae-Mikhail Faulk, according to police. The suspect has been on the run since the slaying. 

Authorities had said Faulk was driving a 2004 Chevrolet K1500 Silverado with SC tag FFL-471. That vehicle has been found, but Faulk is still on the loose.

Faulk, 22, is considered to be armed and dangerous by Horry County deputies. Police have warned people not to approach him if they see him.

Police were called to a home on Long Branch Road near Conway on reports of suspicious activity.  According to a Horry County Police Department press release, officers encountered a man who had “injuries consistent with a homicide.” The man was later identified as Cochran.

 

Faulk was arrested in 2017 in Horry County for some property crime related charges, and convicted in the same year for third-degree assault and battery as well as theft.

Anyone with information about Faulk’s whereabouts is asked to call 843-915-8477.

Lieutenant James Odell Cochran was with the Conway Police Department for over thirty-eight years. 

The Conway Police Department released a statement following Cochran’s murder, which read:

“It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Odell Cochran. Cochran retired from the Conway Police Department with over thirty-eight years of service as a lieutenant and was a valuable member of the team and impacted the lives of many. 
 
Based on the calls, messages, and condolences that have been sent, it is obvious that his contributions to our community are still felt and realized by many.

Cochran served our department and citizens of Conway well and was loved by many in our community. He retired with twenty-five years of service and then returned for thirteen years as a community service officer.

Massive manhunt for suspected murderer of retired police officer expands
Compliments of Latimer’s Funeral Home

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his daughter, sons, sister, and other family. We will be assisting with funeral plans to give him the full honors he deserves and has earned with his admirable service record.

Those who worked with him over the years are deeply saddened, but everyone has a special moment they remember working alongside him. The Conway Police Department would like to thank members of the community for their support during this time as we extend our prayers and support to the family of one of our own, Odell Cochran.”

The City of Conway honored Cochran by flying their flags at half-mast Friday.

Cochran’s sister, Reat Gore, spoke to reporters.  She said their family has been overwhelmed by love and support from their community.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Gore said:

“My brother was the person that would give you the shirt off his back.  My brother was a good person and he shouldn’t have gone out this way.  I just want justice served, I want him to be found I really do.”

🚨WANTED – MURDER🚨HCPD is searching for a man wanted for murder in connection with an incident Thursday evening on Long…

Posted by Horry County Police Department on Friday, March 6, 2020

Gore said she is grateful to the men and women in law enforcement who protect their county, and who are actively searching for her brother’s murderer.

She told reporters:

“I was proud of my brother, every cop is not a bad cop and my brother was not one of those.”

In the meantime in North Carolina, there’s still a manhunt underway for suspects who tried sabotaging police cars and civilian vehicles.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has authorized a $5,000 reward to assist in finding the suspect or suspects who damaged vehicles at the Hickory Police Department earlier this month by leaving nails in the parking lot.

On Valentine’s Day, police say that they found more than 50 black half-inch metal tacks in the employee parking lot access areas The nails were also found in public parking access at the police department.

Several police vehicles, as well as civilian cars ran over the nails, damaging tires. According to Deputy Police Chief Reed Baer, seven of the department’s patrol vehicles suffered flat tires, and two employees had damage to their personal vehicles.

 

“This not only puts citizens in danger, it puts police officers in danger,” Baer said. “It damages property and it costs taxpayer money. All of this comes together to make this a cowardly, stupid act.”

Police detectives are combing through surveillance video in an attempt to hopefully identify the culprit(s).

Police said the incident is considered “highly dangerous to general public safety and the safety of our officers.

Incidents of vandalism to tires could cause potential vehicle crashes due to tire failure or, more importantly, the inability of emergency personnel to reach citizens in need due to the inoperability of vehicles.”

Police are asking anyone who visited the department on either the 13th or 14th of February who thinks they suffered damage to their vehicle and who requires a police report for documentation may obtain a copy, free of charge at Hickory PD headquarters.

“This is more serious than mere damage to property. This act put lives at risk and is inexcusable. One we identify those responsible, we will pursue charges to the fullest extent of the law,” said police chief Thurman Whisnant.

Police do not currently have a motive behind the vandalism, other than it is likely some police-hating loser with too much time on their hands.

According to Michael Ritchie, who has been in the tire repair business for 40 years, the small nails can do a lot of damage.

“They can actually puncture a tire, especially if you get two, three or four of them,” Richie said. “It can make a tire go down quick.”

In the meantime, police in Plymouth, Massachusetts are still searching for the suspects who destroyed a 9/11 memorial and beheaded a statue of a police officer.

Vandals destroy 9/11 memorial to first responders. Dozens of firefighters come to the rescue.
Vandals destroy 9/11 memorial to first responders. Dozens of firefighters come to the rescue.

Dick Quintal took out a 2nd mortgage on his home to help fund a 9/11 memorial, completing the work in 2004. Local authorities notified Quintal that over the weekend, the tribute to the fallen of that dark day had been vandalized.

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San Francisco's new DA fires seven senior prosecutors in two days because they enforced laws

 

In a disgusting act of cowardice, hatred and ignorance, a statue of a police officer at the memorial was found toppled over and broken on Sunday. In addition, a lamp and electrical box that control lighting to the memorial were damaged. All of that coming a week after Plymouth Rock was vandalized, being tagged with graffiti. 

Quintal, a former town selectman, said, “At first I was angry, then I’m heartbroken. It’s just sad. People don’t know that families come here. I’ve met people from all over the country that come here.”

The statue of the officer, which stands alongside one of a firefighter and a piece of structural steal from one of the towers, was pushed over and beheaded. It was a gift from Quintal’s late father, replacing the original statue that was destroyed several years ago.

“My father actually got me the police officer statue the 2nd time, and now he’s not here,” said Quintal, obviously emotional. 

“It’s completely uncalled for. I equate it with damaging a cemetery,” said Ken Tavares, the chairman of the Plymouth Board of Selectmen.

When asked what his message to the vandals would be, Tavares said: 

“Stop. Completely unwarranted. Just think about it. If this had your family members name on the memorial, how would it make you feel?”

Police have made no determinations as to whether the two acts of vandalism are related. 

 

Dozens of firefighters went to work to repair the memorial. More than two dozen members of the Plymouth Fire Local 1768 Union showed up to fix the damage. The replaced the American flags with new ones, added mulch and wiped down all of the granite stones, removing the winter wear. 

“They can knock us down, but we will always get back up even stronger,” the union tweeted. “We are firefighters. We never forget.”

Sadly, the reality is that people will desecrate the most sacred of things in their attempt to voice their hatred for the men and women that wear that badge.

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