2 bodies found in truck after W.Va. shootout injures 2 officers

Two bodies were found in a truck after the driver was involved in a shootout with West Virginia police

The bodies of a North Carolina couple were found in the bed of a truck after the vehicle's driver was involved in a shootout with authorities in West Virginia that left two officers wounded, police say.

The incident began on New Year's Day when police say Eric Campbell, 21, was driving a white Chevy SUV with stolen plates around 4 p.m. EST. He was pulled over by Lewisburg, W.Va., police along Interstate 64.

His father, 54-year-old Edward Campbell, also pulled over in a red pickup truck and opened fire on the two officers with a handgun, according to Lt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police.

Both officers were wounded, but returned fire, hitting the elder Campbell in the leg, police said. He fled on foot over a hill near the highway, and his son drove away in the SUV and hid a short distance away, leading police on a manhunt that closed down the highway for a short time, police said.

Father and son were eventually taken into custody, and the officers were taken to a hospital to be treated, authorities said.

When police searched the red pickup, Baylous said, they found two bodies underneath a mattress.

The bodies were those of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife, Dora Faulkner, 62, of Granville County, N.C., Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins Jr. told WRAL-TV.

Wilkins told the station that he believes the father and son burst into the Faulkners' home near Oak Hill, N.C., killed the couple, set their home on fire and put their bodies in the couple's red pickup truck and drove it north to West Virginia.

Police also discovered that the white SUV with North Carolina plates had been stolen in Texas, the state of the Campbells' last known address.

West Virginia State Police, fearing that crimes linked to the father and sone may have stretched beyond the three states in recent days, say they've now put out an alert to law enforcement agencies across the South.

"We don't know where all they've been and what they've been involved in," Baylous said. "We're going to be checking with other agencies to see if there are any incidents they may have been involved in."

According to records in Brazoria County, Texas, Edward Campbell posted $75,000 bond in December after being arrested and charged in September with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. No other information was immediately available about the alleged assault. Public records show Campbell also served time in a Texas prison for drug possession in 2007.

Edward Campbell is recovering from his injuries in a hospital, and will be charged after he's released, Lewisburg Police Chief Tim Stover said. Both suspects will face charges of malicious assault and attempted murder of a police officer, he said. Bail for Eric Campbell has been set at $500,000.

The officers injured in the shootout were identified by Lewisburg police as Nicholas Sams, a rookie just two weeks out of the police academy, and Lt. Jeremy Dove.

Dove, who suffered shrapnel wounds to his neck after his bulletproof vest deflected the shots, has been released from the hospital, Stover said. Sams is expected to be released later Friday, according to Baylous.

"They're doing extremely well, considering," Baylous said.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

11:35 a.m. Updates with additional details about suspects and conditions of the two officers.

This was originally published at 10:53 a.m.

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