Local News

Two Wayne County teens die from self-inflicted gunshots

Posted January 13
Updated January 14

— One by one, hundreds of students and community members gathered around a flagpole at Rosewood High School Monday night.

Tears flowed. Candles were lit. Hugs were exchanged.

Students came to the vigil after hearing about two of their own.

Spenser Terry Garrison, 16, of Goldsboro, and Malia K. Porter, 15, of Pikeville, were found shot in a vehicle on Capps Bridge Road near the Little River Bridge Monday afternoon.

Garrison was pronounced dead at the scene. Porter was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where she died early Tuesday.

Both shot themselves, authorities said. They were boyfriend and girlfriend.

“It’s real, and now we have to deal with it,” said Josh Overton, a local youth pastor who attended the vigil. “And the way you deal with it is being there for each other. And loving each other. And remembering these families.”

Monday's incident was a tragic reminder of the consequences that come with some decisions, said Daniel Baines, a coach and teacher at the school.

“The kids, you know, they’re very vulnerable, they’re very vulnerable to things that are going on around them,” he said after the vigil. “I just hope that kids can understand that the decisions they can make can be fatal.”

60 Comments

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  • carrboroyouth Jan 14, 6:50 p.m.

    Also reporting that she had been with another boy and the one who shot himself had been seen at... View More

    — Posted by JAT

    So... boys can date at 14 or 15? I think I read a story about two teens that ran away from home because their parents forbid them from seeing each other. Don't ban it - mediate it. My aunt and uncle have been together since they were 14; seems to be working out for them.
    Obviously, something has gone wrong in this case. Families are in my thoughts.

  • leaannbo Jan 14, 5:14 p.m.

    I know because I live here. I heard the shots. As another poster said Rosewood is a small, close knit community. I've spoken with both of these teens on numerous occasions and they always brought a smile to my face. Our whole community is devastated. Not just the high school but the middle and elementary schools also. We are hurt and we are grieving

  • jackaroe123 Jan 14, 5:04 p.m.

    I see some comments saying the media should not report this story. I believe they should. And... View More

    — Posted by FromClayton

    It has been a little over 7 years since I've had to deal w/ the suicide of one of my students, but based on the thinking and training at the time, elements of what you just said are very much to be avoided. Suicides can often lead others w/ such tendencies to do so themselves, so we have to be careful memorializing them b/c that might be exactly what some kids are looking for and could be drawn to. We don't even use the term "successful suicide" b/c we don't want it to convey the idea of success. (We say "completed suicide" instead, awkward as it sounds.)

    Some of it is unavoidable, and we have to respect the grieving process, but there are some procedural, tactical stuff that seem really cruel in some ways but which are designed to address the possibility of copycat suicides.

  • Vote for Pedro Jan 14, 4:40 p.m.

    Also reporting that she had been with another boy and the one who shot himself had been seen at... View More

    — Posted by JAT

    The operative word being "guess". Perhaps further details will be released that sheds more light on why. Maybe then one would know enough to not have to guess.

  • Love my boys Jan 14, 4:39 p.m.

    According to the Goldsboro News Argus, one of the teens called a friend and during the conversation, the friend was alerted to the events that were to take place. The friend led authorities to the teens. Praying for the families and friends of these young people.

  • DareToDream Jan 14, 4:31 p.m.

    Also reporting that she had been with another boy and the one who shot himself had been seen at... View More

    — Posted by JAT

    you obviously don't know the story..
    Your guessing is not factual. She was with the Other boy to get a ride to find him after an argument. when she found him it was too late and pulled the gun on herself.

    Praying for Malia & Spenser's Friends and family..

  • Trusting Jan 14, 3:59 p.m.

    Braces and pimples and smiles. How horribly horribly tragic. So terribly young and hopeless. Tears just flow. So sad. Family of these 2 - allow God to help with this grief and sorrow. Reach to Him.

  • JAT Jan 14, 3:52 p.m.

    Also reporting that she had been with another boy and the one who shot himself had been seen at this location (maybe her house?) several times through the day. So I guess he didn't like that she was dating someone else so he shot himself. Parents - don't let your 15 year olds get so daggum serious!! Girls don't need to date when they're 14 and 15.

  • leaannbo Jan 14, 3:32 p.m.

    Verry sorry for all close friends and Family! It's truley a sad situation all the way around..... View More

    — Posted by melissaann000

    . One gun. He shot himself and then she shot herself

  • JAT Jan 14, 3:30 p.m.

    they seemed to be too close to be so young. you have to wonder if their parents didnt tell them that and they wouldn't listen.

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