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Life-long friends died together in quadruple shooting

Posted June 13, 2011
Updated July 15, 2011

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— A clearer picture emerged Monday of the four people killed Friday night along a road in Research Triangle Park.

Authorities do not believe drugs or gangs were a factor in the deaths of Brinton Marcell Millsap, 23, of 8 Mellon Court, Alexandria J. (AJ) Baker Pierce, 23, of 2327 Oriole Drive, Amesha Alia Page-Smith, 24, of 822 Roane St., and Adrianne Celeste Stevens, 22, of 2022 Buffalo Way.

Deputies found the three women inside a car owned by Page-Smith's mother, near the intersection of Park Office Drive and N.C. Highway 54 in Research Triangle Park, just before midnight on Friday. Millsap, whom authorities say was the shooter, was found outside the car.

A caller to 911 just before midnight on Friday reported seeing a man fire three or four gunshots. Ten minutes later, another caller said he heard "banging" and saw someone lying on the ground.

Four friends died on Durham County road Four friends died on Durham County road

Stevens' mother said the four had been friends since elementary school. Pierce and Millsap were dating.

All four attended Durham's Southern High School at one time. Page-Smith graduated in 2005 and Stevens followed in 2006. Pierce graduated from Hillside the same year. Millsap withdrew from Durham's Northern High in 2006. 

Pierce was a senior at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro studying English. Page-Smith was one course shy of a degree in psychology at North Carolina A&T University, but had not been enrolled there since spring 2010, school officials said.

Other family members declined an interview and authorities had little to add beyond describing the deaths as murder-suicide.

Millsap's Facebook page might have held a warning of things to come. On May 20, he wrote something on his page that he had a strap, a word sometimes used as slang for gun. In the entry, he wrote that he knew he could cheat death and that God sent him a strap and said to use it when he needs help. 

Millsap's Facebook page has since been deleted. 

Anyone who may have been in the area and seen anything unusual from 11 p.m. Friday to midnight is asked to call the Durham County Sheriff's Office criminal investigations division at 919-560-0880.


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  • shanettetaylor Jun 14, 2011

    Re: my previous post, I meant to add, that I am not a mental health or medical professional... my observations are just my guess. It is all so, so, sad...

  • shanettetaylor Jun 14, 2011

    If you read this guy's status updates on his FB profile, you will find that his messages are pretty erratic. Now I know that it is common for young folks to purposely misspell and or abbreviate words in social networking, however, this guy's writings are far beyond convention, even for his demographic. Therefore, I think that this guy was probably suffering from some biologically based mental disorder such as bipolar or schizophenia, and that it he did not receive treatment for it. The latter disorder tends to strike kids during late adolescence/early adulthood. In addition (or instead), it also appeared that this guy had a lot of unchecked anger, and some of his twitter or FB status updates indicate that he was planning something, or at the very least, was about to explode. God Bless victim's family and his family and friends. To any young people reading this post: when you see that your family member is troubled, encourage them to seek help.

  • rightisright58 Jun 14, 2011

    The first sentence of the article stated that a clearer picture emerged Monday of the four people killed Friday. The only thing clearer is who they were. Do we know anything about motive? If they were friends since elementary, why would this happen? Does anyone know?

  • happy2.0 Jun 14, 2011

    This is absolutely tragic. I just wonder if it was a pact of some sort. I would hope not. They all had so much to live for.

  • beffie1963 Jun 14, 2011

    I so wish these women had had the opportunity to pop open a can of whoop-(golo moderator won't let me finish this with the word I want to use) on this guy to overpower him and get away. Those poor girls ... it's so tragic. I pray the Creator will somehow ease the suffering of the families.

  • wbearp Jun 13, 2011

    Very sad. If the guy wanted to kill himself fine, but why take others as well? Thoughts and prayers for the families.

  • working for deadbeats Jun 13, 2011

    Ya..much clearer....

  • changein2016please! Jun 13, 2011

    Tragic. I feel terrible for their families. Poor girls.

  • dfendrjimray Jun 13, 2011

    News we can use.

  • djofraleigh Jun 13, 2011

    WE don't know do we? Police will see what their phones last texts were, the last numbers called, their face book, and from the wounds they will see who was shot first and who was resisting.

    A possible scenario is a lot of he said/she said preceded the shooting of the first one, the loved one, then the other two because they were there screaming things, and then he or she themself after realizing what they had done.

    My question is why would a young person carrying a gun in the car? Fear is the only reason I can think of, unless they felt powerless without it.

    Tragic is all I am able to say...wasted young lives.