Wendell shooting victim: 'I could have died that night'
Posted December 9, 2011
Wendell, N.C. — Laquanda Beecher thought she was going to die. The 19-year-old was at a Wendell Food Lion Wednesday night when an armed man walked into the store and began firing into an office, hitting her and two other people.
Police say the shooter, Tariq James Taylor, 21, was aiming for his partner, Jason Jeffery, 20, who worked at the grocery store at 2837 Wendell Blvd. Jeffrey was shot multiple times and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Stray bullets also struck Beecher, who was hit in the arm and hip, and another employee, Shaquita Baker, 22, who also received non-life-threatening injuries and was recovering at home.
"He just kept shooting. He shot like nine or 10 times under the door," Beecher said.
Taylor ran out of the store and committed suicide in a nearby barn on Marshburn Road, according to police. The homeowner found Taylor's body the next day and called 911. Authorities have not said how he killed himself.
Beecher, who was hired at Food Lion earlier that day, says she is scared to go back to her new job. For now, she is surrounded by her family as she tries to recover.
"I'm in pain. I can't walk," she said, noting that one bullet still is lodged in her hip.
The shooting is a setback for Beecher, who was supposed to graduate from Mary Phillips High School in two weeks. She was also planning to start school at Wake Technical Community College in January. Those plans are on hold, she said.
"(I'm) just thanking God (I'm) still here. He kept me alive, because I could have died that night," she said.
Police say the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute turned violent. Taylor and Jeffery, who lived together at 3840 Wendell Blvd., had previous fights where authorities had been called, police said.
Jeffery called police around noon Wednesday, about six hours before the shooting at the grocery store, and told officers that Taylor had assaulted him and that he was afraid, according to a search warrant. Police advised him to get warrants and a domestic violence protective order.
Officer M. Kidwell wrote in the search warrant that she knew of a past domestic dispute at the house where the men lived. The search warrant also reveals that police found a suicide note in the men's house, although the officer did not specify what it said.
Police released a 911 call Thursday from a person who was outside Food Lion during the shooting.