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The Nation : 2 Gunmen Free Hostages at Newspaper

February 02, 1988

Two heavily armed Tuscarora Indians who had taken over the office of the Robesonian newspaper in Lumberton, N.C., to protest the death of a black jail inmate released their last seven hostages after a 10-hour standoff. Seventeen people were in the office when Eddie Hatcher and Timothy Jacobs barged in with sawed-off shotguns and hand grenades, officials said. More than half of them were released within the first few hours of the crisis. Hatcher and Jacobs had said they wanted to speak with Gov. James G. Martin. The two gunmen surrendered after reaching an agreement with Phil Kirk, Martin's chief of staff. The agreement allowed Hatcher and Jacobs to surrender to FBI agent Paul Daly, rather than Robeson County authorities, whom they accused of racism and corruption. The agreement also calls for an investigation into the death of Billy McKellar, a black man, in the Robeson County Jail.

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