Local News

Man Wanted In Connection With Raleigh Shooting Surrenders To Authorities

Posted September 29, 2004

— A man wanted in connection with the shooting of a 7-year-old girl has surrendered to authorities. Meanwhile, people in her neighborhood say they have had enough violence.

Bryan Payne, 25, has been arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. The firearm charge against Payne is related to a shooting incident on Boone Trail Tuesday night.

Police say Melissa Torres, 7, was in her second-floor bedroom at a South Raleigh apartment complex around 10:20 p.m. when she was shot. Police say a stray bullet from a fight involving two groups of men went through Torres' window, hitting her.

"She's a nice little girl. She's a sweet little girl," said Emma Smith, Torres' neighbor. "What happened last night, I don't understand it. It's heartbreaking to see a little 7-year-old get shot. It could have been my kid. It could have been anybody's kid."

Capt. Mike Teem is in charge of Raleigh Police District 24, which includes the neighborhood where the shooting happened. He said earlier in the year, they increased patrols in the area, but still need more help from people who live there in order to curb violence.

"In this situation, who know, if somebody had called and said, 'Hey, there's some guys outside arguing, looks like they may get ready to rumble, that would have initiated police in that area to break up that disturbance," he said.

Torres is listed in fair condition at WakeMed. Witnesses believe Torres was shot in the abdomen.

Payne has a prior criminal record in Wake County dating back to 1996. He has been arrested 35 times for offenses such as weapons charges and drug charges.

The shooting remains under investigation. Detectives are looking for the occupants of a green, four-door automobile seen leaving the area.

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