Man charged in Lumberton murder investigation

Lumberton, NC - LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) - One man has been detained and charged with first degree murder in the death of a 39-year-old man, who was found shot to death in an SUV early Friday morning in Lumberton.

Antonio Hawkins was arrested on Saturday at 3:50 p.m., according to Lumberton Police spokesman Lt. Johnny Barnes. Hawkins has been charged with first degree murder, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Barnes said Hawkins was previously arrested by Robeson County Probation for a probation violation on Friday at noon after failing a drug test. Investigators later identified Hawkins as a person of interest in the murder investigation.

Investigators believe Hawkins is connected to the shooting death of Loriano Joseph, 39. Officers found Joseph in the passenger seat of a Ford Expedition along West 18th Street at 1:57 a.m. Friday.

Barnes said the driver of the vehicle, identified as Larry Tamicho, 32, told investigators the two were the victims of an apparent armed robbery. The armed robbery, he said, occurred near the intersection of McMillan Avenue and West 15th Street.

At the intersection, Tamicho said his vehicle was stopped by another vehicle occupied by four males. Two of the suspects, according to Tamicho, approached his vehicle and demanded money. One of the men was armed with a handgun and began firing at the vehicle.

One of the bullets, according to investigators, struck and killed Joseph.

Anyone with information on the shooting and armed robbery is asked to call the Lumberton Police Department immediately.

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