Police continue investigation of Ohatchee murder, robbery

Rachael Scarborough King
Star Staff Writer
Published: July 21, 2006

OHATCHEE – Police say they have no new information in the shooting death of Thomas E. Dewey Bowen, 62, in an alleged robbery at the Sav-More Convenience store in Ohatchee Wednesday night.

Two men robbed the store of money and drove off in a small vehicle on Alabama 144 in the direction of Alexandria, according to Ohatchee Police Chief Wayne Chandler. He said he had no information about what direction the men went in after that.

“We are in the process of checking out some leads and doing some investigatory things and hopefully (we will be able) to pinpoint who these individuals are,” Chandler said.

Police do not have the names of the suspects, Chandler said. He described the men as being in their 20s, one of them tall, but would not give further details.

Bowen, who had gone to the former Texaco station to pick up a donation of bottled water for his grandson’s baseball team, was shot once in the left side of his chest while sitting in a chair. The store’s owner, Jim Cosper, was grazed on the arm by a bullet.

Ohatchee Mayor Joseph Roberson said Bowen was well known in the community. Roberson said that Bowen’s wife had already passed on and that he leaves behind two children and several grandchildren.

“Naturally in a small town most everybody knows everybody else,” Roberson said. “He’d been out here his whole life, everybody was shocked, hurt (and) sad for his family. It’s horrible.”

Roberson said he was acquainted with Bowen.

“He was just a decent, hardworking, honest fellow (who) didn’t bother anybody,” he said. “What people who knew him well tell me is he was just the type of guy that would go out of his way to help you.”

Cathy Bundrum, whose son plays on the same baseball team as Bowen’s grandson, said he was very involved with the team, attending many of the games. She said Bowen went to Sav-More to pick up water for the team’s trip to the state championships next week.

“I just knew him from coming to the games, (he was) a very pleasant man,” Bundrum said. “As I understand it he was planning on going with us and staying down there in Montgomery and watching the boys play.”

Bundrum said that Bowen’s son, Clay Bowen, is the coach of the Alexandria Majors All-Stars team. She added that fundraising games for the team this weekend will be cancelled so that the players can attend Bowen’s funeral. A firm date has not been set for the funeral since Bowen’s body is still at a forensics lab in Huntsville.

Roberson said he didn’t think the incident will make people in Ohatchee feel less safe.

“This is a random thing that could have happened anywhere, this could have been two people from another area just passing through here looking for a target,” he said. “Hopefully it’s not local people … but I sure hope whoever did it gets caught and gets severely punished.”

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