Man who shot girlfriend, daughter before falling off 50-foot cliff arrested

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — A Lincoln County man who had been hospitalized for more two weeks in connection with a shooting that left a woman and her 7-year-old daughter hospitalized has been arrested.

The woman and her daughter were rushed to the hospital after authorities said 27-year-old Paul Lamkin Jr. shot them both in the back during a domestic dispute on Aug. 5 inside a home in Lincoln County.

Deputies were called just before midnight to a house off Noles Circle, just north of Lincolnton. The first officers on the scene found 33-year-old Taylor Whitaker lying on the kitchen floor with several gunshot wounds to the back.

Nearby was Whitaker’s 7-year-old daughter, who had been shot once in the back, deputies said.

Paramedics took them both to Atrium Health in Charlotte. No update on their conditions has been released.

Investigators said the shooter, Lamkin, ran off into the woods before deputies arrived.

Authorities were searching for him in the woods off Horseshoe Lake Road when they heard him calling for help. A short time later, deputies found Lamkin. He had apparently fallen from a 50-foot cliff into a quarry and suffered serious injuries.

Deputies ordered Lamkin to drop a pistol he was holding, which he did. EMS crews then carried him out of the woods and took him to the hospital.

On Monday, Lamkin was released from the hospital and arrested by Gaston County deputies. He has been charged with two felony counts of attempted murder, two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, two felony counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling and discharging a firearm into occupied property causing serious bodily injury.

Authorities said Lamkin was the woman’s boyfriend and the girl’s father.