HAMLET — A 17-year-old is facing an attempted murder charge in a midday shooting.
Hamlet Police Chief Scott Waters said officers were dispatched at 11:54 a.m. on Monday to 702 Pine Street where a man was said to be laying in the street, after a caller described hearing four to six gunshots.
As he approached the scene, Waters said he saw the victim “walking fast, abruptly, down Monroe Avenue.”
“You don’t expect to see him walkin’ to you,” he said.
Waters said the man managed to make it to a house, where he laid down on the porch. The chief then went over to talk to the man, who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, including some in the chest area.
The victim, whose name was not available at the time of this writing, was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and was slated for surgery late Monday.
Waters said his department was assisted by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in apprehending the teenage suspect, whose name is not being released because of his age. He added that the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are pending.
When asked about motive, he said, “It’s not a robbery…so I feel like it’s got to be gang or drug related. I feel like everything we’ve got going on is gang and drug related. Crime goes back to the roots of drugs.”
This is the fourth shooting with a victim in that area since May 1.
In the first of two incidents at the Hamlet Food Mart, 21-year-old Diquon Cox was shot twice — once in the leg and once in the arm — around 9 p.m. on May 9, according to police. He was treated at a Charlotte hospital and released later that week.
Police identified the suspect in that shooting as 21-year-old Brian Devonte Dowdy, also known as “Billy Juice.”
He was arrested in Laurinburg after police there say he fired a gun inside a hotel room.
Hamlet police say 28-year-old Glen Joseph McCray, who was arrested after turning himself in to the sheriff’s office, shot another man outside the Hamlet Food Mart just after midnight June 2.
Tierrell Martin, 19, is accused of having a stolen gun at the scene of that shooting.
According to Detective Lt. Randy Dover, of the Hamlet Police Department, Martin was in a vehicle that was shot by McCray in the parking lot of the store. Dover said Martin received minor injuries and fled the scene.
Martin has already been convicted on felony charges three times, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.
Police are still investigating a shooting at a Spring Street Home a few days after that shooting — the home of the victim in the June 2 shooting.
The victim in that case, who also has not been named, was shot three times.
Another teen was arrested in May following a shootout on Washington Avenue, where no one was hit.
Waters said “fortunately” there have been no fatalities.
He encourages residents, who he called the “eyes and ears” of the community, to talk to the police.
“They need to call us when the see suspicious activity,” he said. “We’ve got to take our communities back.”
The chief said he hopes the community can come together in a unified effort to stop the violence.
“We can’t let the streets raise (the kids),” he said, adding that parents need to be more involved, so they won’t see their children incarcerated or at a funeral.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.