Local News

Ex-H.S. basketball star surrenders in drive-by shooting

Posted July 4, 2009
Updated July 5, 2009

— A former high school basketball star surrendered to police Saturday to face charges in the drive-by shooting deaths of an East Carolina University student and pizza parlor owner early Tuesday, Greenville police Officer Michael K. Harper said.

James Earl Richardson, 32, of Greenville, surrendered around 5 p.m. at his grandmother’s home on Kennedy Circle. He had contacted police and was taken into custody without incident, Harper said.

Richardson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He was basketball standout at Rose High School and played some professional basketball overseas.

Investigators say that Richardson fired the shots that killed ECU student Edgar Landon Blackley, 22, and local pizza shop owner Charles Andrew “Drew” Kirby, 28, as they stood outside a bar named the Other Place. The shooting stemmed from a fight at Fifth and Reed streets, but Blackley and Kirby were innocent bystanders, police said.

Kirby was from Johnston County, and Blackley was Oxford.

Authorities are still investigating the shooting, Harper said.

Police asked anyone with any information that could help with the investigation to call 252-329-4317 or 252-758-7777.

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