Deadly shooting in Columbus County could be gang related

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A young man died in a shootout that Columbus County investigators say could be gang related.

Beer cans and other trash line the road outside a popular hangout in Columbus County.

According to investigators a shootout happened there around 2:00 Saturday morning, killing 21-year-old Antoine Ford and wounding five others.

Neighbors say the hangout is a nuisance to the area, and that this isn't the first time they've heard shots fired there.

"Just about every weekend there's a crowd up here and I don't know what's going on or nothing, but it scares me and it's not the first time shots have been over there," said Peggy Bass.  "It's not the first time people have got shot over there either."

Bass said she wants the hangout shut down permanently and other Columbus County residents agree.

"This is not an isolated incident," said Rodney Singletary.  "It's happened before and we don't want another Antoine Ford incident to happen again."

Roger Robinson's son Derrick was hit in the back during Saturday's shooting, but he's expected to recover, giving his father even more incentive to find a solution.

"We can do it, we can get it started, we just need some help," said Robinson.

Authorities suspect some of the people involved in the shootout may be gang members, but Singletary and several other say regardless of how it started, the violence between young members of the community needs to end.

"It's not like they are strangers," said Robinson.  "All of them know each other, so it's a problem somewhere and we've go to do something to fix it or we are going to be lost as a community."

Detectives at the Columbus County Sheriff's Office said they have not made any arrests at this time, but several people were involved in the weekend shooting.

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