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Police launch manhunt for suspect in death of 3-year-old

Posted February 27, 2011
Updated February 28, 2011

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— Police are searching for a Goldsboro man who is wanted in the shooting death of a toddler at an apartment complex playground Sunday.

Princess Shelby King, 3, was playing on the playground at The Grand at Day Pointe apartment complex, near the intersection of Day Circle and Slocumb Street, around 3:30 p.m. when gunfire erupted in an altercation between two men, police said.

She was struck by a stray bullet and died at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

There were other children and adults on the playground, but no one else was injured, police said. King lived in a nearby apartment.

Authorities identified Derrick Raymont Best, 29, of 1508 Mimosa St. in Goldsboro, as the gunman. He is being sought on a murder charge, police said.

His whereabouts are unknown. Anyone with information is asked to call Goldsboro police at 919-580-4212.

According to Department of Correction records, Best has a long criminal history, with numerous charges dating back to 1998, including possession of a firearm by a felon, assault on a female, resisting an officer, simple assault and drug possession. In January 2009, he was charged with attempted murder in the September 2008 shooting of Alicia Griffin on Maple Street in Goldsboro.

Charles Williams represents the neighborhood around The Grand at Day Pointe on the city council.

"I'm deeply saddened to hear that a 3-year-old lost its life down here today," Williams said. "I'm really appalled that anybody would take the life of a 3-year-old."

He added that violence in the neighborhood is not uncommon.

"There have been times when we've heard, 'It sounds like automatic rifles going off down in this area,'" Williams said. "We've tried to curtail that, but unfortunately it's still going on."

The death of a young child, he said, should be a wake-up call to neighborhood residents to report criminal activity to police.

"Let them know what's going on. That's the only way we can get a handle on it," Williams said.

He plans to propose to city council that the neighborhood start a community crime watch program.

16 Comments

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  • lovethesouth1 Feb 28, 2011

    Bad things happen to bad people. He should rot.

  • carolinagal78 Feb 28, 2011

    Pepples~ Its not the "law" thats not doing their job. The man has apporx 65 charges from the police. I think the police are doing what they are supposed to do. It's the court system that keeps letting him out. Let's not blame the police for this one.

    I hope they find this guy and the system works this time. My thoughts go out to the family.

  • beachboater Feb 28, 2011

    With prison overcrowding being mentioned as a problem keeping prisoners locked up, maybe we should look into what the sheriff in Arizona did. Pink clothes, pink underwear, pink everything. They live in pink tents, and they work on the road sides. The cost of keeping a prisoner is much lower. No air conditioning costs, no building costs (they live in tents inside a fence).

    I agree with what others said, attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, why the heck is he on the streets.

  • alphamom99 Feb 28, 2011

    My prayers are with her family.

  • Whatever Geez Feb 28, 2011

    Pebbles, its not the law honey, its the court system.

  • beecee653 Feb 28, 2011

    So so y'all know...he is out on bond awaiting trial on the attempted murder charge he caught....the bond was only $100,00...but he did in fact make bond through a bondsman.

  • Nargile Feb 28, 2011

    And he's on the streets because there is no money to keep him in over crowded jails. There is no protection from the police in the area because the government is cutting funds to police departments and other law enforcement agencies. This is the government NC elected. Now live with it.

  • theroadislong Feb 28, 2011

    "He plans to propose to city council that the neighborhood start a community crime watch program."

    What a joke! He already said that violence is not uncommon in the area and unfortunately, there's not much that a community can do except maybe stay inside and that's not even a promise of safety.

    All this over an "altercation"...a fight. Just selfish people acting selfishly and an innocent 3 year old named Princess is dead because of it. Smh!

  • teachnow Feb 28, 2011

    That area has a bad reputation. Unfortunately, the child was just doing what children do...playing. As I sit here typing this, I am not too far from there. It is kind of scary to know this guy is still out there and what he has done.

  • cherylj110 Feb 28, 2011

    "The Grand at Day Pointe apartment complex"...sounds great, peaceful even, huh? Even with the new name it's the same old complex with a history of violence and crime. Back when it was being built in the 70's, "a brutal ruffian" (WRAL censors) bludgeoned one of the security guards there to death. They keep changing the name of it so people won't identify it with it's past history but it's still the same environment and the same people causing trouble there. It's a travesty that good people with no other financial options are virtually prisoners in these types of places.
    Put "brutal ruffians" (again, WRAL) like Mr. Best in prison & reinstate the old-time chain gangs instead of letting them lounge around in heated/air conditioned day-rooms with cable tv, internet and exercise rooms. If we make prisons something other than a resort environment then maybe they'll get the idea that it's not the place to be. Heck our elderly in nursing homes should get such good treatment as the prisoners

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