Local News

Goldsboro shooting suspect leads police on 20-mile chase

Posted February 4, 2011

— The suspect in a shooting Thursday night that left a man critically injured was arrested after leading authorities on an approximately 20-mile chase from Goldsboro to Smithfield, police said.

Police said that a gunman shot and wounded Howard Bennett Harper, 43, at his home at 123 Kathy Lane around 5 p.m. A second man in the home – Joseph Perry Harper, of Denver, Colo. – was not injured.

Howard Harper was flown to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where he was in critical condition early Friday.

About two hours later, police said, an officer spotted a vehicle on West Ash Street that matched the description of one used the shooting. The driver pulled over but sped away when the officer approached, police said.

The driver – identified as Onza Lee Brown Jr., 33, of 504 Park Ave. – led police on a chase along Old Smithfield Road into Johnston County. Police said that he eventually pulled over in the 1000 block of Brodgen Road in Smithfield and was taken into custody without incident.

Brown had suffered self-inflicted cuts on both wrists and was treated at Wayne Memorial Hospital, police said.

He was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count each of felony fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle and reckless driving to endanger. He was placed in the Wayne County jail under a more than $1 million secured bond. His first court appearance was set for Friday.


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  • If_I_Was_President Feb 4, 2011


    First of all, let's be honest...your message has racist written all through it. You win!!! As long as individuals and group continue to have this type of attitude towards different skin tones, whether white or black, then this country will continue to go downhill. That man commited the crime, not all blacks. That man shot Guiford and those people, not all whites. This world is going insane.

  • Call It Like I See It Feb 4, 2011

    hot hugger99.... it's pretty hard to be open-minded when facts are facts... and those facts are, black people take up a HUGE majority of the crimes committed everyday. My eyes are open and what I see is that every story I seem to click on, the crime was committed by a black person. There is a difference between racism and flat out common sense.

  • RM24 Feb 4, 2011

    fatchanceimwrong: Excellent. 100% accurate.

  • If_I_Was_President Feb 4, 2011


    The main problem is everyone looks to race in this country. Why? Yes, I agree...percentage wise, blacks do populate the severe crime data, but when are we as a human race going to finally look past the color of skin to see the person inside. I'm white, so no-one use the "he's black so he's defending them" line. I'm not defending them, I'm defending everyone. The problem is there are too many stubborn one-way drivers in life who don't give the right-of-way to those who are coming their way. We as a PEOPLE must unite to bring this country back on track. Close your eyes and walk into any crowded room, and what do you see???? Nothing...that's how we should all look at skin color, as a meaning of nothingness. Had it been a white guy in this story, where would these comments be headed. I love you all as fellow air breathing, God fearing people. No matter if you are white or black, you all are my brothers and sisters.

  • mky777 Feb 4, 2011

    71265kwjc AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fatchanceimwrong. Good Comment. Racism seems to be brought up by racist people?

  • 71265kwjc Feb 4, 2011

    Bev & Bob should bail him out and Bob can give him some stimulus money from his new job. WRAL can report on what a good job Bob is doing to save a troubled young man. The young man will spend the stimulus money WRAL can report on how the economy is turning around in NC under Bev's leadership. That's how it works, yea!

  • Call It Like I See It Feb 4, 2011

    fatchanceimwrong....your my new best friend.

  • fatchanceimwrong Feb 4, 2011

    @callmegorgeoys: You assumed Elvis was making a racial statement to the effect that it's not suprising since the guy is black. You made that assumption right off the bat because it was the first thing that came to mind when you read the comment. Clearly you're sensitive to a comment that has any tone of racism. What you don't understand is the level of frustration that the white community has toward violent crimes by black people. These types of crimes are much more common among blacks than whites, given each's percentage of the population. And there are no leaders from the black community doing anything about it. Nobody wants to address it. Why, because if anyone white says anything about it they're called racists. If anyone black addresses the problem, they're shunned by the black community.

    It's clear what Elvis was inferring, and it's clear that you took it that way. That's the problem...we can't have open discussion of racial issues.

  • mky777 Feb 4, 2011

    Who cares if he threw his freedom away! That's why we have freedoms in this country. This is what he chose to do with it. It is very evident that the number of crimes probably has not increased, but the severity of the crimes has significantly increased. Everybody please be safe, and take an extra second or two to make sure those intersections are clear before you proceed thru.

  • If_I_Was_President Feb 4, 2011

    It doesn't have anything to do with race!!! It all comes down to you people need to better discipline your children. He didn't only throw his life away, his parents threw his life away. He almost threw someone else's life away too. So many people say "you can't spank your child, it's child abuse". The man (who was a Dr.) that came up with that had a son who killed himself. What does that say for his thinking now?