ROCKY MOUNT: 4 people, including children, shot outside church - WNCN: News, Weather

12-year-old in critical condition after shooting outside Rocky Mount church

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Four people were shot on a basketball court behind Word Tabernacle Church in Rocky Mount. Four people were shot on a basketball court behind Word Tabernacle Church in Rocky Mount.

A 12-year-old is still in critical condition after being shot along side three other people outside a church in Rocky Mount on Monday night.

The shooting happened shortly before 6 p.m. on a basketball court behind Word Tabernacle Church in the 800 block of Nashville Road.

Police said the victims have been identified as Michael Lyons, 17, Jakavis Whaley, 19, Nyreek Horne, 12, and Antwon Jefferson, 13.  All of the victims were residents of Rocky Mount, police said.

All but one of the victims were treated and released from Nash General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to authorities. Horne was transferred to Vidant Hospital where he is listed in critical condition, police said.  

The suspect is believed to be a black male and was in the area of basketball court just prior to the shooting, police said. 

Police said the suspect left the scene in a light blue small SUV.

At this time no arrests have been made, police said.

Neighbors told WNCN they heard multiple shots being fired. Neighbors say victims ran to a nearby convenience store for help; some of them were taken to the hospital.

The mother of one of the victims, who is 13-years-old, said her son was shot in the leg.

"Who could just come in a parking lot and start shooting children?," Carolyn Whitehead asked.  "He's 13-years-old. He's a child, so he's not in a gang.  I know that for a fact. But now I'm scared, and now I'm hoping he's not scared to go to school."

Whitehead said she will no longer allow her son to go outside to play basketball after such a close call.

"I just started imagining him laying dead. And after that, I thought about just calling an ambulance, and I was calling them and crying," Whitehead said. "I was trying not to cry because he was OK and I was just -- to be honest -- I was very, very angry."

The Rocky Mount Police Department urges anyone with any information in this case to please call the Rocky Mount Police Department at 252-972-1411.  Persons may also call Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111 or use the Text-a-Tip program by sending your text to RMPOL and your message to CRIMES.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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