Gaston police are hopeful a reward announced by Governor Roy Cooper’s office and one announced today by a trucking company whose driver was shot and killed in June may bring forward witnesses in the case.
The governor’s office announced last month the state is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Robert Pane “Cowboy” Hale, a 67-year-old trucker for Barnes Transportation.
Gaston Chief C.L. Dixon said this afternoon Barnes announced a $2,000 reward for the same information.
Dixon said thus far police have no suspects or potential witnesses in the shooting death, which occurred in the parking lot of the Gaston Hardee’s the evening of June 24. The crime occurred shortly before 11:30 that evening.
There has been no security camera footage to provide local and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation detectives and agents with any leads, Dixon said.
Investigators are still going through the camera system on Hale’s truck for any clues.
Hale’s truck was the only rig in the parking lot that evening, Dixon said, but the chief is hopeful the cameras of other truckers passing through that evening may bring forth evidence or someone willing to talk to police. “Eighty percent of the trucks on the highway have cameras in them. We’re hoping any truck that may have passed by may have picked up something.”
Hale had been a trucker for 30 years and spent a third of his career driving for Barnes.
Hale was found lying between his commercial vehicle and his personal vehicle. Dixon said evidence collected at the scene suggests robbery was the motive.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Gaston police at 252-537-1047, Northampton County Crimestoppers at 252-534-1110, Halifax County Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444 or the SBI at 919-662-4500.