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Family Says Prichard Police Shooting Was Murder, Plan March

PRICHARD, Ala (WKRG) In an email to News 5, the family of Lawrence Hawkins is questioning the shooting death at the hands of Prichard Police in November. The family sent the following statement to News 5 Thursday:

On November 18, 2017, Lawrence Hawkins was fatally shot by a Prichard Police Officer. Lawrence was unarmed but yet murdered in his own yard on private property. The family of Lawrence will hold a peaceful march in his honor on Saturday December 16. Following the march, we will hold a Press Conference and a Candlelight Vigil for Lawrence as well as others that have been affected by senseless acts of violence. We will meet at 2:30 at 1806 St. Stephens Rd, Prichard, AL 36610 to begin the march at 3:00 p.m. The Press Conference will begin at 3:30pm at the scene of the incident, 1021 First Ave Prichard, AL. 36610. Leading into the candlelight vigil, we will have speakers such as Darlene Gay-Allen, Prichard NAACP President, Ben Harris, NAACP Attorney, Councilwomen Samantha Richardson and Ossia Edwards, & a line-up of a few other speakers. The vigil will begin at dusk.

News 5 is reaching out to Prichard Police and investigators for a response. We'll have the latest on WKRG.com and tonight on News 5.

https://www.facebook.com/WKRG.News.5/videos/10155935507367500/

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UPDATE 4:30 p.m. — Sheriff Sam Cochran with the Mobile County Sheriff's Office held a press conference late Monday afternoon.

Sheriff Cochran says that investigators on the scene did not obtain a weapon and they do not believe Lawrence Hawkins was armed with a weapon. However, Sheriff Cochran did confirm that a cell phone was recovered on the scene. Investigators on the scene were also able to recover three shell casings, but they do not know how many shots were fired, Sheriff Cochran says.

The Sheriff's Department is still waiting to interview Officer Johnathan Murphy, who asked to speak to an attorney before making a statement. Sheriff Cochran told news outlets that Murphy became an Alabama certified officer in November of 2016.

Sheriff Cochran also confirmed that the Prichard Police Department does not require officers to wear body cameras and that only some officers have dash cam capabilities.

Hawkins is related to a Mobile County Jail employee, according to MCSO.

The Mobile Sheriff's Office is asking for any witnesses to come forward.


 UPDATE November, 20 11:58 a.m.

According to Lori Myles with MCSO, "At approximately 9:23 pm, District Attorney Ashley Rich requested Mobile County Sheriff's Office to investigate with an Officer involved shooting. The Prichard Police Officer involved with the shooting is Officer Johnathan Murphy."

Mobile County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this shooting to contact 251-574-8633.


Original Story — November, 18 2017 9:50 p.m.

PRICHARD, Alabama (WKRG) – The Mobile County Sheriff's Office confirms an investigation is underway into a fatal officer involved shooting in Prichard. Mobile Police says the it happened Saturday night at 9:30 during a traffic stop. It happened on First Avenue at Hanes Street.

The Sheriff's Office says Lawrence Hawkins was shot by a Prichard Police Officer. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The sheriff's office says there is no other further information at this time and more details will be released as the investigation continues.

News 5 spoke witnesses about what happened. Latreisha Williams tells News 5 she witnessed the officer follow Lawrence to his house,  "He (Hawkins) got out his truck, reached in there to get his cell phone. The police were saying something, and all i heard was pow… pow… pow."

Williams says the officer never turned on his police lights until after he shot Lawrence. Several other witnesses from on the scene tell News 5 the same thing.

Several people in the Prichard community say they knew Hawkins and that he was a kind, hardworking man who would do anything for anyone. The community knew him as ‘Haw' Glenn Wright says he has known Hawkins since they were in diapers, "It has me tossing and turning because I lost four brothers, mother, father, and twin sister myself. And this really touched home."

The family did not want to talk on camera, but said they plan to issue a statement on Monday.

The following is a press release from Lori Myles with Mobile County Sheriff's Office:

At the request of the District Attorney, Ashley Rich, Mobile County Sheriff's Office is assisting Prichard Police Department with an officer involved shooting. The shooting occurred yesterday, November 18, 2017 at approximately 9:30 pm on First Avenue in Prichard during a traffic stop. Lawrence Hawkins was shot and taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.An autopsy will be conducted on Monday, November 20. There is no further information at this time, the case is pending further investigation and findings will be forthcoming. 

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