About 300 residents came to Englewood Baptist Church after a violent home break-in on Sunday left an 86-year-old man dead and his wife injured.
Police say the attackers bound James Whelan, 86, with duct tape and broke the hip of his 73-year-old wife, Margie. James died at his home on Fairfield Drive while his wife remains at Nash General Hospital.
"It could have been any of us," says Rocky Mount resident Beverly Joyner. "If someone has the mindset of being that mean, all we can do is try to safeguard ourselves."
Police department leaders tried to calm fears and told residents how to better protect themselves and their neighbors.
"We have to work together," says Chief William Hogan of the Rocky Mount Police Department. "There are things that you bring forward as citizens, and by working together we can make this a safer community."
Investigators say they are still working on leads in the case, but they do not have a lot to go on.
Copyright 2022 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.