Local News

Police: Teen kills father, stepmother at Whitakers home

Posted July 15, 2012
Updated July 16, 2012

— Police arrested a 17-year-old teen Sunday morning in the fatal shooting of his father and stepmother at a home in Nash County.

Jacob Whitfield faces two murder charges. He was placed in the Nash County jail and denied bond.

Police responded to a 911 call at a home, at 503 W. Taylor St. in Whitakers, around 11:30 p.m. Saturday and found both victims dead at the scene. 

Neighbors told WRAL News that the shooting victims were Brian and Charisma Whitfield, but police have not released their names. No one else was injured.

Five people, including Whitfield, a friend, his parents and Whitfield's young brother, were in the home at the time of the shooting, police said. Neighbors said Whitfield's brother is about 10 years old. 

Whitfield, who lives in Virginia with his mother, comes to Nash County periodically to visit his father and family, police said.

Neighbors told WRAL News that Charisma Whitfield celebrated her birthday Saturday prior to the shooting. 

"It's just troubling to know that every time I look out my window now, I see that (house) as a grave," neighbor Charice Rosser said. "They were murdered there." Jacob Aaron Whitfield Nash County teen charged in shooting death of father, stepmother

Ryan Saunders, who attended classes with Whitfield at Northern Nash High School before he moved to Virginia, said he didn't believe the news at first. 

"This morning when I heard it, I definitely didn't believe it," he said.

Eric Barnes, another of Whitfield's classmates, said he was quiet. 

"He never really talked to anybody, he was one of those people who stayed to himself," Barnes said.

No other information, including a motive for the shooting, was released.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Paul Parker Jul 16, 2012

    "justifiable reason?" only if they were shooting at him.
    July 16, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    INCORRECT!! He would be justified if he was in fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury. There is NOTHING in the law that requires that you are being shot at in order for you to use a firearm to defend yourself!

    I will accept that it may be unlikely that he was first attacked by one of his parents, but that possibility does still remain. Neither I, nor anyone else on here (unless you happen to be one of the two other witnesses in the house) actually knows what happened, and until I know all the facts I refuse to pass judgement on him.

    Also there is the possibility that there was a history of abuse of him or his brother, and while that would not legaly justify his killing his parents, it would certainly make it understandable, and should greatly reduce the severity of his sentence if he is convicted.

  • Paul Parker Jul 16, 2012

    A legally justifiable reason FOR TWO MURDERS???? do things like that exist? If you're implying he may have been abused or something-that is still not a justification...there is none.
    July 16, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    We don't KNOW that they were murders. All we know is that two people were killed, and the 17 year old was CHARGED with murder; but just because someone is charged with murder doesn't mean they actually commited murder. If it was legaly justified, then it WASN'T murder. I will admit that from this article it may apear that he committed murder (he was charged with it after all), but the story is pitifuly short on details, and there ARE other reasonable possibilities.

  • Obamanation Jul 16, 2012

    Ah, another gun debate I see. Have fun kids.

  • LordHelpUsAll Jul 16, 2012

    "justifiable reason?" only if they were shooting at him. sounds like this kid may have had some issues previously anyway. wonder if they were addressed? this whole thing might have been avoided. parents: pay attention to warning signs... if they are quiet and keeping to themselves, do you know why? Sad for the kid and the victims.

  • Pretzel Logic Jul 16, 2012

    And I Quote...

    "The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

    SO, The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1791, refers to the National Guard, which was created by an act of Congress in 1903???
    These phrases,” right of the people peaceably to assemble,” “right of the people to be secure in their homes,” “enumeration’s herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people,” and “The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people,” all refer to individuals, but “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” refers to the state.

    Shees,,, What a Maroon

  • bobbyj Jul 16, 2012

    Was his step mother disappointed with the gift he gave her? Seems a little weird.

  • samdutes Jul 16, 2012

    hey piene2, you left off the part after your comma...." the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

  • Scubagirl Jul 16, 2012

    "He could have had a legaly justifiable reason"


    A legally justifiable reason FOR TWO MURDERS???? do things like that exist? If you're implying he may have been abused or something-that is still not a justification...there is none.

  • Ambygirl Jul 16, 2012

    Ahh peine2, just wondering when you were going to show up with your anti-gun rhetoric. I see I wasn't wrong.

    Condolences to this family during this terrible loss. May Jacob receive the punishment he deserves.

  • kermit60 Jul 16, 2012

    brucelig; More so than any Nation on Planet Earth. Really, obviously you haven't traveled to places like Iraq, Afghanisten, Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua etc. Stupid laws give people ready access to cars that kill tens of thousands. I'll bet you drive one of those.