The Robesonian Newspaper siege turned into a dynamic news story that unfolded live on WRAL-TV. Action News 5 anchor Charlie Gaddy called the newspaper office not knowing if anyone would answer the phone. Gaddy was able to talk directly with a hostage and then with Eddie Hatcher, one of the hostage-takers. As you watch and listen, you will see Gaddy use calm while gathering information as he interviewed Hatcher, at first off-air, and then live on the air.
Eddie Hatcher and Timothy Jacobs, both identified themselves as Tuscarora-Cherokees, armed themselves with shotguns and stormed the offices of the Robesonian newspaper in Lumberton, NC on February 1, 1988. Seventeen people were in the offices of The Robesonian newspaper when the two men came in about 9:30 A.M. More than half of them were released within the first few hours. They demanded to speak with NC Governor Jim Martin to raise awareness to what they saw as local public corruption and drug trafficking. The two also protested the death of Billy McCullough, a black man who died in jail. Hatcher and Jacobs said they were frustrated at not being able to get their story out.
Hatcher and Jacobs, were taken into custody by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation without violence.