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Two dead, infant in intensive care after Fayetteville murder-suicide

Posted July 6
Updated July 8

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— A man shot and killed his girlfriend during an argument Wednesday in Fayetteville before shooting an infant and killing himself, authorities said.

Cumberland County deputies were dispatched to a home in the 3400 block of Cumberland Road after a 7-year-old boy called 911 to report that his mother had been shot.

The deputies found the body of 32-year-old Jessica Ann Parker, who appeared to have been killed with a firearm, and the body of 35-year-old Sherrell McNeill, who appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

The deputies also found a 2-month-old with gunshot wounds to the chest inside the home. The baby was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, and relatives said he was in critical condition Thursday evening in the intensive care unit.

The baby, who relatives and family friends said was called King, underwent surgery for the gunshot wound, and family members said they were confident he was going to live.

Authorities said Parker was McNeill's girlfriend, but the baby was not McNeill's child. Parker's family said she and McNeill were no longer together and that she had been living in Spring Lake.

The couple had been arguing before McNeill shot Parker, the baby and them himself, authorities said.

"He shot him because he was jealous," said Jacqueline Landreth, a friend of Parker's. "He shot him because Jesse found happiness somewhere else. He shot her to hurt her."

The children who were in the home at the time of the shooting are in the care of the Department of Social Services, authorities said Thursday.

"For children to see their mother murdered in their presence and then for a baby to suffer a gunshot wound to the chest is just horrific," said Ronnie Mitchell with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. "It’s hard on all of us, there’s no question. I’ve been doing this 35 years, and it never gets any better."

Mitchell said that McNeill was in the process of moving, and there was no electricity in the home.

The investigation is ongoing.

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  • Janet Ghumri Jul 7, 10:11 a.m.
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    How horrible. Prayers for the blessed baby, his brave siblings and the families.