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Police Identify Person of 'High Interest' in Fatal Home Invasion

Posted December 21, 2007

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— Rocky Mount police have identified "a person of high interest" in the apparent residential break-in Friday that left two women dead and a man in critical condition.

Rocky Mount police Capt. Martin McCoy said they hoped to bring the man in for questioning. McCoy did not release the man's name.

When Leona L. Johnson failed to show up for work at the Rocky Mount Police Department on Friday, officers went to her house to check on her, Police Chief John Manley said. Johnson was a secretary for the department's Uniform Operations Division for the past three years, he said.

Officers found a broken window in the back door of the house, at 1247 Compass Creek Drive, and found Johnson, 50, and Deborah M. Scriven, 44, shot to death inside, Manley said.

The shooting occurred between 3:45 and 9:45 a.m., he said. Investigators haven't determined the type of handgun used.

"She was a very pleasant person, and we really don't have anyone we know of that she had a conflict with," Manley said of Johnson. "She was a good person to be around.

"We are saddened. (This case) touched us deeply, and we're dealing with that," he said. "We will continue to work the case as we would any other case."

Scriven worked at Nash General Hospital and had recently earned a nurse assistant certification, friends said.

Scriven's son, 21-year-old Devin Scriven, was wounded in the incident. He was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where he was listed in critical condition, police said.

Manley said Johnson and the Scrivens were found in three different rooms inside the house, which is off N.C. Highway 48 near Northgreen Golf Club north of downtown Rocky Mount.

"We believe it was an intruder, but some level of acquaintance," Manley said. "This doesn't appear to be a random act."

Police were following several leads Friday afternoon, but they haven't determined a motive for the slayings and haven't identified any potential suspects, he said.

"I hope when they get the person or persons, that whoever this person is, that they suffer every day, every minute, every second because she did not deserve for this to happen to her," said Beverly Veal, a co-worker and friend of Deborah Scriven. "Anybody didn't have to hurt her. They could have went and said, 'We want whatever,' and she would have given it to them. So, for this random act of violence to happen was just unnecessary."

Veal said she last spoke with her friend around midnight Thursday about a holiday party they were planning. The two were also looking forward to a special trip they were planning to take next week.

"She was going to be 45 next Saturday," Veal said. "I was taking her to Disney World. We were going to leave early Friday morning and come back Sunday, because she'd never been to Disney World."

State Bureau of Investigation agents, deputies from Nash and Edgecombe counties and state Highway Patrol troopers were assisting in the investigation. Investigators said they are confident they'll find the person or persons responsible.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Capt. Martin McCoy of the Rocky Mount Police Department at 252-972-1411.

86 Comments

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  • Josey Wales Dec 23, 2007

    My house is my castle. If you`re found here at night, you`ll be found here in the morning.

  • catch22 Dec 22, 2007

    who has money on that the alleged murderer ran from the police before, on foot and in a vehicle

  • jkca Dec 22, 2007

    Man, I'm glad my family upped and moved from RMT last year. I spent everyday working in those "high crime" areas and I guess it was the grace of God I wasn't at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • gottasay Dec 22, 2007

    A new chief is the exact thing needed in Rocky Mount. The current Chief has never worked the streets of Rocky Mount a day in his life or any streets for that matter. He was put there by a fraternity brother as a favor for being a friend. Citizens of Rocky Mount needed to show up this past election and take a stand but they didn't and ended up with the same leadership. But maybe it is not to late to demand change in the city. Call for a complete overhaul at the top levels. Tell your friends and get involved remember they work for you.

  • GotSig Dec 22, 2007

    I would urge anyone taking the advice of some of the contributors to take up arms in your own defense, to take the State concealed carry class, REALLY learn the law, get proper equipment, learn to use it and practice. Being born in a garage does not make you a car. Just having a firearm does not mean you can save yourself with it. You don't have to be a sheep, but you better be a trained sheepdog. Lawyers love mint jelly with their lamb!!

  • butterbean7258 Dec 22, 2007

    According crimetrends.com Rocky Mount is 12th NATIONALLY in homicides/capita. 12TH!!!!

  • skypilot-not Dec 22, 2007

    senseless and sickening

  • drnc Dec 22, 2007

    I read a few years ago that a man shot a thief who had broken into his home. When the police arrived they asked the homeowner why he had shot the thief seven times. The homeowner replied he would have shot the thief more times, but his pistol only held seven bullets. In Kennesaw, GA, it's the law that residents own a gun. People need to understand that wolves attack sheep. Don't act like a sheep.

  • Timtooltime Dec 22, 2007

    Break into my house and you will never leave !

  • ladyblue Dec 22, 2007

    My prayers to the young man and hoping for his strength to pull him through. Here's hoping for the safety of the officiers who are involved with rounding up the (humans?) who could do this.

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