FAYETTEVILLE — Police are saying it was a "home invasion" that left three people dead and two others injured in a Wednesday morning shootout in Fayetteville. It happened in a house on Graham Street at about 1:30 a.m.
A friend told WRAL-TV5's Melissa Buscher that one of the victims was shot while trying to escape through a window.
The shooting victims were blindfolded, bound and gagged with duct tape. Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler says there was no sign of forced entry into the house. The crime is being termed a robbery, but Butler says he does not think this incident was a random robbery.
Butler says all the victims were shot in the same room. Two of the victims, 19-year-old Channel Coleman, and 28-year-old Vickie Lockhart were sisters. Both were found dead in the home. David Epps, 24, whose brother rented the home, died at Cape Fear Valley hospital. The other two victims are listed in stable condition there.
Police are looking for three suspects who were seen fleeing from the house,and are tracking leads from others in the area. Some neighbors say they didn't even know anything was going on at the time of the shootings.
Police could not say what, if anything, was taken from the home, although some witnesses pointed out that all the pictures had been removed from walls in the home.
Butler said he would not speculate on whether there were drugs or gangs involved. He did say that other area residents should not be worried and that his department is working full time to find the suspects.