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Hero Down: Robeson County Deputy Welton Locklear Dies After On-Duty Heart Attack

Lumberton, NC – Robeson County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Deputy III Welton Locklear died in the line of duty on Jan. 4 after suffering a heart attack while assisting with a funeral escort, according to his department.

The 63-year-old deputy was in the parking lot of the church when the medical emergency struck, Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said in a press release later in the afternoon.

Members of the church, including a nurse and first responders, immediately administered CPR.

Deputy Locklear was rushed to UNC Southeastern hospital in Lumberton, where he passed away.

“It is with great sadness that I report the unexpected loss of one of Robeson County’s finest,” Sheriff Wilkins said in the press release. “We are asking for prayers for the family, friends, and his law enforcement family as this is a difficult time for us all.”

Deputy Locklear joined the RCSO as a detention officer in 1994.

He worked in many capacities during the nearly 28 years he served the sheriff’s office, and was most recently assigned as a Deputy III in the Civil Division.

“He was a very special person and he was a true professional law enforcement officer, public servant and more importantly, a man of God,” Sheriff Wilkins wrote. “He was active in his community and was well respected and will be truly missed by all. He lived his life to the fullest and has touched many people.”

“This is a deep loss for many of us at the Sheriff’s Office as he was a mentor to many of the new deputies and great friends of many others,” the sheriff added.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy III Welton Locklear, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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