Princess Shelby King, 3, was playing on the playground at The Grand at Day Pointe apartment complex, near the intersection of Day Circle and Slocumb Street, around 3:30 p.m. when gunfire erupted in an altercation between two men, police said.
She was struck by a stray bullet and died at Wayne Memorial Hospital.
There were other children and adults on the playground, but no one else was injured, police said. King lived in a nearby apartment.
Authorities identified Derrick Raymont Best, 29, of 1508 Mimosa St. in Goldsboro, as the gunman. He is being sought on a murder charge, police said.
His whereabouts are unknown. Anyone with information is asked to call Goldsboro police at 919-580-4212.
According to Department of Correction records, Best has a long criminal history, with numerous charges dating back to 1998, including possession of a firearm by a felon, assault on a female, resisting an officer, simple assault and drug possession. In January 2009, he was charged with attempted murder in the September 2008 shooting of Alicia Griffin on Maple Street in Goldsboro.
Charles Williams represents the neighborhood around The Grand at Day Pointe on the city council.
"I'm deeply saddened to hear that a 3-year-old lost its life down here today," Williams said. "I'm really appalled that anybody would take the life of a 3-year-old."
He added that violence in the neighborhood is not uncommon.
"There have been times when we've heard, 'It sounds like automatic rifles going off down in this area,'" Williams said. "We've tried to curtail that, but unfortunately it's still going on."
The death of a young child, he said, should be a wake-up call to neighborhood residents to report criminal activity to police.
"Let them know what's going on. That's the only way we can get a handle on it," Williams said.
He plans to propose to city council that the neighborhood start a community crime watch program.
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