Local News

Stepfather: Bullet That Killed Son Was Meant For Him

Posted August 1, 2006

— The stepfather of a boy killed over the weekend said the bullet that killed his stepson was meant for him.

"The shooter shot the gun to kill me, and my son got hit, and that really hurts," said John McLaurin. "It really does."

Investigators said road rage led to the violent death of 11-year-old Kenneth Anderson, who was shot last Thursday night near his home.

Robert Lee Vincent Sr., 65, of Gin Loop Road, Garysburg, was arrested in Virginia on Sunday and charged with first-degree murder. He is in jail without bond.

McLaurin said the shooting resulted from an argument in a gas station parking lot over the use of a turn signal. Vincent then allegedly followed McLaurin and his family onto N.C. Highway 46 and stayed behind them flashing his lights until they turned onto the dirt road that leads to their house.

That's when, according to McLaurin, both men got out of their vehicles.

"He got out of the truck, but he was pulling something with him," McLaurin said.

When McLaurin's wife realized it was a gun, she got out of the vehicle and tried to break up the argument. Her son followed behind.

McLaurin said the boy was trying to save his mother's life.

"He persisted to get his mom into the car for her own safety," McLaurin said. "He said, 'Come on Mama, get in the car and let's go.'"

That's when, McLaurin said, Vincent started yelling at the family and raised his gun.

"I was looking at the gun, and I was telling them to get in the car," McLaurin said. "And my wife was telling him, 'Mister, don't do anything stupid.'"

Then, Vincent allegedly aimed the gun, McLaurin said, "Right dead at me to shoot me in the head," firing one shot that grazed McLaurin and then hit his stepson in the head.

"When he was going down, he mumbled something that sounded -- he said, 'Don't let me die,'" McLaurin said.

Anderson, a rising fifth-grader who loved football, died the next day at Pitt Memorial Hospital.

Crosses and flowers now mark the road where Anderson was shot. And loved ones struggle to understand how a moment of anger could bring the sudden end of such a young life.

"It really hurts to see him go," McLaurin said. "It really does."


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