Fayetteville, N.C. — Police said they aren't sure if the shooting death of a Fayetteville motorcyclist Tuesday morning is connected to a hit-and-run involving a second motorcyclist.
Officers responding to a call shortly before 3 a.m. found a man and a badly damaged motorcycle in Bragg Boulevard near Skibo Road. The man, who police said was a member of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club, had been shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, police said.
About 10 minutes later, police received a call of a hit-and-run along Cliffdale Road, just west of Rim Road. Matthew John Key, 30, told police somebody in a silver or white four-door sedan shot at him and ran his motorcycle off the road. He said a man and a woman were in the car.
Key, an active-duty soldier and a member of the Wingmen motorcycle club, was taken to Womack Army Medical Center with injuries described as non-life-threatening.
The name of the slain motorcyclist hasn't been released.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the two men knew each other and whether the shootings are connected.
"When you look at the time frame, it's really tight," Police Chief Harold Medlock said, noting that the locations of the shootings are about 8 miles apart.
Police noted that both men were seen Monday night at Carolina Square, a plaza on Bragg Boulevard with several adult entertainment clubs.
"We do know that there was some altercation at some point in that shopping center," Medlock said. "We simply don't think this was random."
The altercation wasn't between rival motorcycle clubs, he said, and he doesn't expect any retaliation by any group.
"I don't want any of us to make any assumptions that are unfair," he said. "We're investigating both incidents, and we're going to let the evidence drive us to the conclusion of whether they were connected or not."
The flag outside the Hell's Angels clubhouse in Fayetteville flew at half-staff on Tuesday afternoon, but two men outside the building declined to comment.
Medlock, who officially started as police chief on Monday, has said combating gun violence will be a priority for the department. He said having one man killed and a second shot at in his second day on the job is frustrating.
"I'm angry," he said. "It frustrates me, it angers me that we have senseless violence on our streets in Fayetteville."
Anyone who saw anything suspicious at Carolina Square or at the two shooting locations is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8447.