Local News

Four killed in Tarboro shootings

Posted February 28, 2015
Updated March 1, 2015

— Four people were killed in three separate shootings in Edgecombe County Saturday afternoon, police said.

The first was reported just before 1 p.m. at Master's Touch Barber Shop on West St. James Street in Tarboro.

Ian Sherrod, 40, walked into the business and fatally shot George Lee Dickens Jr., 36, police said.

Alaric Hopkins, who worked at the convenience store across the street, said he saw people running from the building.

"I saw a young man come out of the store with a gun in his hand," he said.

About 30 minutes after the first shooting, officers received another shooting call.

"We received a second couple of calls from citizens saying there was a shooting on the northern end of town," Tarboro Police Chief Damon Williams said. "Officers proceeded that way and found two additional victims suffering from gunshot wounds."

Ventura Sanchez, 36, was found shot inside a vehicle at Lot 48-B Mobile Home Estates. Ana Marlen Cruz-Franco, 28, was found dead inside a nearby residence.

Sanchez was transported to Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, where he died Sunday.

"Witnesses again described the suspect involved as Ian Sherrod," Tarboro police said in a statement.

Sherrod lived next-door to Sanchez and Cruz-Franco, according to property records.

While investigating both shootings, authorities received information that Sherrod was operating a silver Ford truck in the area of Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Tarboro. The vehicle was then found by a Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office deputy in the rear parking lot of a business at 2311 Main Street in Tarboro.

"As other law enforcement personnel converged on the scene, they attempted to make contact with Sherrod, who was seated inside his vehicle and displaying a firearm," Tarboro police said. "Officers repeatedly requested that Sherrod put the weapon down and surrender."

Authorities said after an extended period of "unsuccessfully pleading" with Sherrod, he exited his vehicle and pointed a firearm at officers. He was subsequently shot and killed by law enforcement.

A Tarboro police officer and an Edgecombe County deputy were placed on paid administrative leave regarding Sherrod's death. Their names were not immediately released.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident, which is standard in officer-involved shootings.

The shootings have caught the community off guard.

"This is very unusual in Tarboro," said Williams, the police chief. "This is a very safe community."

Friends and family remember Dickens as someone who cared about the community.

"That was just a big tragedy for him to shoot George like that because George wasn't a type of guy like that, you know," said Dwight Hopkins, a friend of Dickens. "George was good with the kids, you know, good with everybody."


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  • Judge Smails Mar 1, 2015
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    So then Wayne, with all that said....thanks for all your hypothesis that as usual mean nothing.

  • Wayne R. Douglas Mar 1, 2015
    user avatar

    This could be some strange lover's triangle or quadrangle. It could be a drug deal gone wrong. It could be simply a hate crime (not the black vs white hate crime). This could be a very deranged person crime. This could be simply, an "I want my 15 minutes of fame" crime. Just to cover all bases, this could be an "I got a bad haircut" crime.

    We could all guess. We could all make absolute claims. We could all make up stories. The simple fact is, none of us know. Without more information, and unless you know all, or most of these parties, there is absolutely no possible way, to make an absolute, definitive answer. Why don't we wait until the investigation is complete? Maybe that will reveal, the exact cause of this. Maybe it will not. Either way, none of us know piddly squat.

  • Christopher Rose Feb 28, 2015
    user avatar

    Seriously. Agree with Sarcoi. What the heck is getting in to people?

  • Sarcoi Dosis Feb 28, 2015
    user avatar

    People seem to be going off the deep end.