Local News

Police chief: 'She was able to get one shot off, and the gun jammed'

Posted July 26, 2015 7:52 p.m. EDT
Updated July 28, 2015 4:47 p.m. EDT

— A man suspected in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend Sunday evening in a parking lot in Franklinton was arrested early Monday in Raleigh after an all-night manhunt.

Garry Yarborough, 35, was taken into custody at the Days Inn on Glenwood Avenue shortly after 6 a.m. Authorities said he surrendered after talking to his mother over the phone.

Franklinton Police Chief John Green said Yarborough was taken to WakeMed for treatment of a gunshot wound he received from the victim, and he will be returned to Franklinton after his release from the hospital. He is charged with first-degree murder.

Another man, Josiah Michael Oakley, was also taken into custody as an accessory to the crime, Green said.

Yarborough is accused of fatally shooting Tracy Williams shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Food Lion on U.S. Highway 1 in Franklinton.

"I heard her start blowing the horn, then I heard a gunshot go off," said a witness at the scene who did not want to be identified. "She started running around trying to get away, yelling for help...And as he was chasing her, he was trying to load the gun and she was fighting for her life, yelling for help."

Authorities said Yarborough fled the scene in a black SUV and went to a home on Cornerstone Drive in Franklinton, where he shot through a woman's door and hit her with a gun.

Witnesses at the second scene identified the woman as Kim Elmore and said she was struck over the head. Elmore, a nurse at Franklin Medical Center, told a neighbor that Yarborough appeared to be bleeding from the leg and demanded she bandage the wound.

Green said Monday that Yarborough targeted Elmore because she's a nurse. She and Williams were coworkers.

Shortly after the incident in the neighborhood, Yarborough's SUV was found burned near the area of Old Halifax and Perry roads.

Green said investigators think Yarborough set fire to the vehicle to conceal evidence, then Oakley picked him up and took him to the hotel. Green said social media was key in leading officers to the hotel, which was briefly evacuated.

Green said Yarborough and Williams broke up about six months ago, and Williams recently bought a gun to protect herself.

"After their breakup, it turned very nasty," he said. "He was threatening her to the point where she felt uncomfortable and she went and got a concealed carry permit. She was able to get one shot off, and then unfortunately the gun jammed."

Yarborough shot Williams in the head, he said.

Green said Williams repeatedly called law enforcement about Yarborough, and officers were at her mother's home Saturday night where she went because she felt threatened.

Yarborough had previously kidnapped Williams, Green said, and a warrant was issued on that charge.

A check of Yarborough's record shows he was charged earlier this month with second-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a felon.

"My officers sat on the residence for about four hours, hoping he would come there," Green said. "They were trying to help her because she contacted my detectives about the ongoing situation."

He said Williams did everything she could to protect herself, including changing her vehicle, taking a concealed carry class, getting a restraining order and notifying police when he contacted her.

"If you sit there and taken it, then no one can help you, but you got to report it so that way law enforcement can at least try to help you out of that situation," Green said.