Family: Harnett stepfather was unstable after time in Iraq
Posted January 4, 2016 6:03 p.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2016 6:43 p.m. EST
Lillington, N.C. — A Harnett County man accused of shooting his stepson during a family holiday made his first court appearance Monday.
According to the Harnett County Sheriff's Office, Rico McConico Sr., 40, of 455 Ruth Circle in Fuquay-Varina, shot Raekwon Shannon, 19, of Spokane, Wash., on Saturday night.
McConico was arrested in Lillington shortly after the incident and charged with first-degree murder.
Several family members were in court and told WRAL News that years of working as a private contractor in Iraq left McConico mentally unstable.
Rico McConico Jr., McConico's biological son, said his father loved Shannon.
"He loved him like he was his real son,” he said. “It is just something that got out of hand.”
Witnesses reported seeing the elder McConico drive away from the house Saturday then turn around abruptly and return to the home. Neighbors say they then heard gunshots and saw McConico jump back into the vehicle and flee.
"The dad actually passed by us as he was leaving. We thought he was rushing somebody to the hospital at first," said Shannon's friend, Zachary Hering.
Family friends said that Shannon lives in Washington but had been visiting his family for the past week. They said that Shannon was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves and had been looking to go into active duty.
Corey Robinson, McConico's cousin, said the family is sticking together but that prayers are needed.
"(McConico) has been going through a lot of mental things," Robinson said. "He has been on a lot of medication. He had been going to a psychiatrist. It has been hard coming back from being in a war zone."
Neighbors said McConico had two children with Shannon's mother and said that Shannon and his mother were very close.