Local News

911 Caller Heard Screams, Then Gunfire

Posted March 7, 2008
Updated March 8, 2008

— Residents heard three to four gunshots in the Hillcrest Circle area of Chapel Hill, where University of North Carolina Student Body President Eve Carson was found dead Wednesday morning.

On 911 calls released Friday, one caller also said she heard "a female scream" three times, then three gunshots.

Minutes later, at about 5:15 a.m., Chapel Hill police found Carson, 22, shot to death. According to a stolen-vehicle report, at least one gunshot wound was in the right temple.

Lt. Kevin Gunter, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, however, would not discuss the number of times the UNC senior from Athens, Ga., was shot or where the bullets hit her.

Police did say the weapon used in the killing was a handgun, but they would not discuss specifics.

Meanwhile, the UNC Board of Trustees offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian J. Curran said investigators are operating under the theory that Carson was the victim of a random act of violence.

"We have no evidence to believe she was targeted for this crime," he said. He added that he's "very hopeful" they will solve the case.

Curran said investigators believe Carson died where her body was found on Hillcrest Circle and that her killer was at some point in Carson's blue, 2005 Toyota Highlander, which was stolen during the commission of the crime.

Police recovered the vehicle Thursday afternoon about a mile from the crime scene at North and Hillsborough streets.

Investigation Focuses on Missing Hours

Investigators on Friday were focusing on learning what happened to Carson in the four-hour period between when her roommates left her alone in their apartment and when her body was found.

Carson was last seen alive at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at her apartment on Friendly Lane, when she stayed behind to study while her roommates went out, authorities said.

"My information is she was an extraordinarily busy woman, and it wasn't unusual for her to go to the office in the middle of the night," Curran said. "But we don't know that's what she was doing."

Curran said they do not believe that Carson ever went to her on-campus office, and there was no evidence that a break-in occurred at her apartment.

Investigators have subpoenaed Carson's cell phone and bank records and were examining her laptop computer for any clues about her death. They continued to catalog evidence from her Highlander.

Curran said police have not recovered her keys or wallet.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which is based at the university, said there was no indication that Carson had been sexually assaulted.

Police said they did not believe that Carson had a boyfriend, and they had no evidence, at this time, that anyone had been following or stalking her.

Curran said the university's police force was helping with the investigation and that Chapel Hill police would consult with other regional law-enforcement agencies as needed.

He encouraged students and residents to take normal crime-prevention precautions, such as carrying a phone, telling people where they are going and parking in well-lit areas. He said he did not see a need for extra security measures at this point.

Authorities urged anyone with information about the case to call the police department at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.

"America's Most Wanted" planned to air a segment about Carson's death Saturday night.his crime," he said.

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