Sheriff: Mother, Daughter Shot In Lincoln County, Suspect Found After Falling Down 50-Foot Cliff

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — Detectives say they arrested a man for shooting a woman and her 7-year-old daughter in the back.  The suspect is then accused of falling down a 50-foot cliff.

Deputies were dispatched to a residence off Noles Circle north of Lincolnton at 11:54 p.m. on August 5, 2020 after the Lincoln County Communications Center received a call about the incident.

The first officers on the scene say they discovered the mother, Taylor Whitaker, 33, lying on the floor of the kitchen with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds to the back. Nearby was a 7-year-old female with a single gunshot wound in the back, according to a news release. Lincoln County EMS arrived on the scene and began assisting the injured people. The mother and daughter were transported to Atrium Health – Main.

Deputies say the suspect, Paul Eric Lamkin, Jr., 27, ran into a wooded area before officers arrived on the scene. Deputies began searching the wood line off Horseshoe Lake Road when they heard someone call for help. They discovered Lamkin had fallen from a 50-foot cliff into a quarry and had a head and other injuries. He was ordered to drop his .38 caliber pistol and complied with officers, according to a news release. He was then carried out of the wooded area by EMS and transported to Caromont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia.

Warrants have been issued charging Lamkin with two felony counts of attempted first degree murder and one felony count of discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling. The warrants will be served when Lamkin is released from the hospital.