Sheriff Robert Redman told WRAL-TV5'sMark Robertsa man was waiting behinda house for his ex-girlfriend, 28-year-old Sherry Kelly, to come out atabout 7:30 Thursday morning.When she did come out, Redman says 40-year-old Van Spain Jr. opened fireshooting the womanthree times. She fell near a car parked in the yard and died at the scene.The woman had just celebrated her birthday Wednesday.
Redman says the couple had just recently broken off their relationship.The victim was the mother of a 7-year-old boy who reportedly witnessed theshooting. Investigators say he hid under a car parked in the yard andcalled for help on a cellular phone as he hid.
The child was not injured. He is with his father.
Spain fled the scene heading north on N.C. 39. He was arrested in VanceCounty.
Spain is charged with first-degree murder.
The incident occurred in a very rural area. The child is apparently theonly witness to the crime.