Local News

Two dead in Rocky Mount restaurant shooting

Posted April 26, 2012

— Rocky Mount police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide that happened at a local restaurant Thursday morning.

Police responding around 11:30 a.m. to a report of a shooting at Westridge Grill, at 3639 Sunset Ave., found Cynthia Jeanette Joyner, 41, shot to death inside the restaurant, where she worked.

Police found Carlos Whitaker, 37, of Rocky Mount, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in some woods behind the restaurant.

Their bodies have been taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville for autopsies.

Although police say there are not looking for anyone in connection with the shooting, they are asking anyone with information about it to contact the Rocky Mount Police Department at 252-972-1411 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.

Investigators called the shooting a domestic violence situation but did not say how Whitaker and Joyner were connected.

Two dead in Rocky Mount murder-suicide Two dead in Rocky Mount murder-suicide

A son of Joyner's, however, said the two were married but that they had been estranged for the past few months.

A mother of four, Joyner had worked as a waitress at Westridge Grill and was getting ready for the lunch rush Thursday when, police said, Whitaker walked in, went straight to her and fired multiple shots.

A crowd of family, friends and customers gathered at the restaurant Thursday to grieve and wonder what caused the shooting to happen.

"She is gorgeous. She's just a beautiful person, and this was just totally not necessary to be taken away from her children, her family and her mother," said Cynthia Kent, a friend of Joyner's.

Another of Joyner's sons, Melton Battle, who also works at Westridge Grill, did not want to talk about Whitaker, and Kent said she didn't know much about him.

Battle did want to talk about his mother.

"I love my mom, but she's in a better place. So, I just have to be strong for everybody else," he said. "I look just like my mom, so I'll be a shining light for her."


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  • Its the who what May 4, 2012

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Cynthia and her family

  • mojo nailing rb Apr 27, 2012

    Another wonderful day in Rocky Mount.

  • schooldoctor Apr 27, 2012

    I read and watch a lot of news and to date have not seen anyone encouraging "packing heat". It so happens to be the right of Americans to bare arms, I see little value for them left under the bed. It is very doubtful that this "quack" had a permit to own or carry a weapon. Make them illegal and see who are the only people to possess them. WAKE UP!

  • dwallace9392 Apr 27, 2012

    It has not really hit the son yet, that his mother is gone and it not coming back.My heart goes out to the family and friends as well as her relatives.

  • redwarrior Apr 27, 2012

    I carry most everywhere I go because, unfortunately, the amount of places I feel safe is dwindling....

    Very sorry for this familys loss.

  • halfpint1552 Apr 27, 2012

    She was a very nice person. Was always smiling whenever we ate lunch there. She will be missed. It's so tragic. You just never know what some people are capable of until it's too late.

  • stupidbrainchild Apr 27, 2012

    Greenville needs to get a move on with their autopsies. My sister passed away on Monday and we are all in limbo here waiting to start making arrangements for services.

  • sabol100 Apr 26, 2012

    RIP Cynthia. Prayers for your family. You will be missed.

  • DaisyMae Apr 26, 2012

    I will miss you Cymp....you were a wonderful person and I always enjoyed talking with you at Westridge Grill. RIP

  • JJ20 Apr 26, 2012

    I cannot blame that poor son for not wanting to talk. He's most definitely in shock right now. What else is he really supposed to say?

    My prayers are certainly with him and his family as they deal with this devastating loss.