Local News

Harnett Co. shootings, chase result in fear, prayers

Posted August 4, 2014

— In two seconds, a surveillance camera captured a homicide in progress.

Someone fired a handgun multiple times while running past the camera.

Investigators later found an 18-year-old’s body behind a pair of dumpsters.

The July 30 killing in Spring Lake punctuated two days of violence in Harnett County that included a triple shooting and a separate high speed chase that resulted in serious injury.

The incidents shocked residents in the small, rural county just south of Raleigh, prompting a community meeting and prayer service at Spring Hill United Methodist Church in Lillington on Monday.

"We are participating in this service for peace because we love our community and are concerned about recent acts of aggression," said church pastor Terry Williams, who called the meeting to help residents understand what’s causing the violence.

The answer, Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins told about 130 in attendance, is often gangs and drugs.

Rollins, who told attendees “I do not go anywhere without a gun,” advised residents to be ready to protect themselves.

"I want my deputies to be at your house just as fast as they possibly can when you have a problem,” he said. “But you better be able to take care of business before we get there if you need to protect your family."

Monday’s meeting comes days after the high-profile incidents:

  • Raquan Shynell Hooker, 18, Maurice Shaquan Williams, 23, and Maurice Kollis Cox, 27, were shot outside a Kangaroo gas station on N.C. Highway 87 in Cameron Friday afternoon. No arrests were announced as of Monday.
  • Hours later, Jeffrey George, 21, was seriously injured after crashing while fleeing from police. George led authorities on the vehicle pursuit after selling drugs to an undercover officer, officials said. He crashed on U.S. Highway 421 near Marners Road.
  • The body of Eric Kentrall Staten, 18, was found behind dumpsters on Saturday at a business at 6761 Ray Road in Spring Lake. No arrests were announced as of Monday.

The three incidents have left residents like Lynda Jenks in fear.

“I believe in God, but I am still afraid of what is going on,” she said. "I am afraid to go off very far, for very long. I am afraid of break-ins. I am afraid."

Rollins advised residents to report suspicious activity, even if it seems minor, to law enforcement.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • kermit60 Aug 6, 2014

    It is obvious that many of the postings on here come from people who have never been the victim of a crime. They think it's because of the police but reality is that it's just because the criminals haven't got to them yet. They can take comfort in knowing that when it happens and seconds mean the difference between life and death that the cops are only minutes away.

  • icdumbpeople Aug 5, 2014

    This Sherriff will be in office as long as he wants to be! NC needs more Sheriffs like this one! People need to start fighting back.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Aug 5, 2014

    "I want my deputies to be at your house just as fast as they possibly can when you have a problem,” he said. “But you better be able to take care of business before we get there if you need to protect your family."

    Cops can't be everywhere at once. There just aren't enough of them for every home. So people better be prepared to protect themselves and their loved ones until the cops CAN get there.

  • disgusted2010 Aug 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Gun violence is a media created term. It has become part of the lexicon and will soon be taught in schools when indoctrinating children about the evils of guns. This country is fast falling into the ditch and the liberals are pushing us as fast as they can.

  • MudLife Aug 5, 2014

    Really Hand?

    The Sheriff is right! Are you going to sit in your house that was just broken into and wait for help? When help arrives you will dead. Defending yourself with a gun, to me is not gun violence. Gun violence to me is when you shoot innocent people. My gun will protect me against home invasions and thieves. The response times for officers to get to you can be long. Because you have folks that won't move out of their way. LEO can't be everywhere in 10 seconds.

  • icdumbpeople Aug 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    That just makes way too much sense for anyone to understand these days. You have just been racist and hurt someone's feelings. (it will be said)

  • disgusted2010 Aug 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Don't expect any better from a law enforcement hating, gun hating liberal.

  • disgusted2010 Aug 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    "Gun violence" a term coined by a liberal media to push their agenda of the elimination of the second amendment, on their way to total elimination of the Constitution and a totalitarian government run by nanny state liberals.

  • Crystal Hinson Aug 5, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    We did not "sit quitely in prayer" last night. Solutions were discussed, actually all three that you offer as well as others. Our community has to stand up and unite to get things done.

  • btneast Aug 5, 2014

    Not enough jails? Build more Perhaps, but that really isn't the problem. It's a band aid solution. Most of these gun deaths are gang related. The gangs feed off of young boys that have little to no family growing up. The gang becomes their family.Until the very dysfunctional family structure is addressed in the black community, this will only get worse. Going to jail is a rite of passage for these guys, its not a deterrent. Jail/prison does not do what most of us think it does as far as rehabilitation or making someone think twice .