Local News

Argument Over Using Bathroom Sparks Fatal Shooting

Posted September 2, 2006

— A 16-year-old girl was killed early Saturday following an argument over using a bathroom, police said.

A group of five or six people stopped at a Sunoco at

1104 Sunset Ave.

to use the restroom early Saturday, but the clerk didn't like them hanging around and asked them to leave, police said.

"When they didn't leave, she stepped outside, and that's when the actual verbal confrontation started," said Lt. Terry Miller, of the Clinton Police Department.

During the argument, two men drove up and one one started shooting at the group, police said. A bullet hit a 16-year-old girl in the neck, and she later died at Sampson Regional Medical Center, police said.

The girl's name hadn't been released by Saturday evening.

Flying bullets also hit two young men involved in the argument outside the gas station, including one who was hit several times in the chest and arms, police said. There was no word on their conditions Saturday evening.

Ben Strayhorn, 24, is charged with murder in the case and is being held without bond at the Sampson County Jail.

Police said Strayhorn and the clerk know each other, but they declined to speculate on how he ended up at the gas station during the argument.

Two guns were involved in the shooting, but police wouldn't say who pulled the trigger on the second weapon. Investigators are still trying to determine what role, if any, the other man in the car had in the shooting.

"We're not 100 percent sure. We're still putting the pieces together, but we feel pretty positive we have at least one of the shooters," Miller said.

The case marks the first homicide in Clinton this year, and Miller said investigators are troubled by the circumstances of it.

"She was just hanging out with her friends, and this verbal confrontation was the demise of a promising young lady," he said.


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