Atkinson community reacts to death of murder suspect

William Hewett was killed Thursday evening in Whiteville
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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ATKINSON, N.C. (WECT) - It’s been nearly a week since Atkinson resident Rebecca Thornton found the body of Brandy Price in a field next to her home. At the time, Price’s estranged boyfriend William Hewett was wanted for her murder and on the loose.

“Every car that would drive by, I was on edge,” said Thornton. “Every car that drove by my house I would always stand up and look because I was afraid that might be him.”

But on Thursday night, Hewett was shot and killed by law enforcement in the Walmart parking lot in Whiteville.

He was last seen in the Shallotte area, nowhere near Whiteville or Atkinson.

“I think he was paying attention to the news and hearing the buzz going around about him and trying to stay away from where everybody would be looking,” said Thornton.

Hewett was known in the small town of Atkinson. He had a long history, from assaults to theft, and some felt he was a troublemaker.

“He’s been nothing but bad news,” said Haley Daughtrey, who knew Price.

Price was well thought of in the community, and was a friend, daughter, and mother.

But neighbors feel, as tragic as the story is, Hewett can’t hurt her or anyone else again.

“It’s honestly a blessing that it happened — that he’s not here anymore,” said Daughtrey. “Nobody’s got to worry about him harming them and the kids are safe now. It’s just sad that such a good person lost their life.”

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