Local News

Sampson boy shot during burglary 'hanging on,' sheriff says

Posted November 19, 2012

— A 4-year-old boy injured in a shooting Friday night during a home invasion outside Clinton is "hanging on," Sampson County's sheriff said Monday.

Investigators say someone tried to force his way into the home off Plantation Lane around 10:30 p.m. Friday and that, when he couldn't make entry into a bedroom, he fired into the door and struck the boy.

The boy's father chased the gunman, who jumped into a waiting vehicle and fled.

A family friend on Monday identified the boy as Jose Santiso Vargas, the son of a migrant worker from Florida.

Jose was being treated at an undisclosed hospital Monday afternoon. Sheriff's deputies have said that he is on life support.

"These people were just trying to make a living. In fact, their plans were to return to Florida today," Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said. "Instead, they're at a hospital with their child, not knowing if that child is going to make it or not."

The sheriff's office is investigating three other reports of similar burglaries in the area over the weekend. In at least one other case, the victims were preparing to move.

Shooting 4-year-old shot during burglary 'hanging on'

Thornton said it is still too early to say if any of the cases are related but that they all involve migrant workers.

"The Hispanic population has a lot of cash on them, because they don't deal much with their banking institutions," Thornton said.

Investigators say it's a community that can also be tight-lipped for fear of retaliation. But they're hoping someone will talk.

Anyone with information should call the Sampson County Sheriff's Office at 910-592-4141. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 910-564-5261.

"We've been stressed," Thornton said. "We're giving it our best shot, but at this time, I'm asking that the people of this county help us."


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  • jennmartin82 Nov 20, 2012


    This is how you report a story, FYI.

  • ItIsWhatItIs2 Nov 20, 2012

    Oh snap!! Well said Airbornemonty... well said.. God forbid the truth not be put out there without fear of being accused of racial profiling. Lets call a thing a thing.. .. if they were black, they were black, if they were white, they were white, if they were green they were green, but put it out there so we know and stop trying to avoid people flipping out b/c it was pointed out that they were black...

  • airbornemonty Nov 20, 2012

    If WRAL wasn't so intent on avoiding imagined confrontation, they would print what the other web sites are printing and that is that the hoodlums that invaded the home and shot the child were African-American.

  • NotFromHere Nov 20, 2012

    Don't they have any information on the suspects? A description of what they were wearing, what they looked like, their race? What time did these 4 break ins take place? What are the locations of the other crimes? How about the car? It would help if there was at least some information for people to go on.

  • doggypoos Nov 20, 2012

    So why so tight lipped on the description of the suspects? How they looked and what they were driving would help.

  • dejr88 Nov 20, 2012

    The immigration status doesn't matter at the moment.... a child is on life support and I pray the child will be ok, and the hideous person who did this is caught and dealt with properly. No parent should have to go through this nightmare, regardless of their race and status.

  • Bartmeister Nov 20, 2012

    And in case you're not smart enough to know, I'll tell you, if all the migrant workers went home, you'd starve. Phillip PJM


    Ahhhhhhh, NO.

  • caryzoo Nov 19, 2012

    These are migrant workers, they come here to work and then...they go home. Whomever is preying on them should be, well, put away. No better word for it...they do not deserve to live. It is my opinion only, but these creeps are really bad to shoot a kid, and legal or illegal, they need to go away forever. This is not the way any, and I mean ANY society should be. One does not prey on the less fortunate in society. I think they may be a psycho or sociopath, maybe just immature, it does not matter. Do away with them. They deserve it.

  • warbirdlover Nov 19, 2012

    Amen PFC4JC. I cant fathom some peoples lack of compassion. Pitiful just pitiful! !!!!!!

  • mcraineycrazies Nov 19, 2012

    how sad, doesnt matter if its legal or illegal, this should have never happend