Dominick Jackson, 16, was charged with murder in the death of William Evans, 65, of Durham. Evans was found shot to death in the parking lot of a Red Cross building at 4737 University Drive, Durham police said.
Bob Ashley, editor of The Herald-Sun, said Evans was a newspaper carrier who delivered to the address where his body was found.
Jackson often rode with Evans, who thought the experience would be good for the teenager, said Brent Agurs, the newspaper's circulation director.
"His grandson had issues in the past and he was just trying to help him out by showing him some responsibility," he said.
Stanford Morris, a spokesperson for the Red Cross, said the company is heartbroken.
"Our sympathy goes to their family and the others affected by this," he said. "We are reaching out internally to our employees to make sure that there is counseling, or if anybody would like counseling - we can get them to that."
Investigators recovered a 2013 silver Chevrolet Impala in conjunction with the homicide investigation, but did not say how it was related to the crime.