Family members say man was defending himself in fatal shooting

Torres Montey Newkirk (Source: Columbus Co. Sheriff's Office)
Torres Montey Newkirk (Source: Columbus Co. Sheriff's Office)

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) – Family members watched emotionally as a young man accused of murder Sunday night turned himself into police Monday afternoon.

According to the Whiteville Police Department, Torres Newkirk, 23, shot and killed Josh Williams in the Brookberry Park Apartments parking lot around 7:00 p.m.

Investigators said Newkirk and his girlfriend were sitting in a car when Williams came up and started banging on the windows.  They say Newkirk closed the car door and shot Williams several times when he opened the car door again.

Newkirk turned himself into authorities less than 24 hours later.  He was charged with first degree murder.  His mother and sister say he was just defending himself after a series of events.

Torres' family members say, he was just defending himself after a series of events.  They say he had been terrorized by a group of boys for two to three weeks.

"Just last week these boys put an AK, I don't know if it's a 9 or 47 to my son's head," explained Torres' mother, Teresa Smith.  "He is a man.  He felt violated.  But even still, he did nothing to retaliate.

Smith said Torres went to a club New Year's and left after he saw the same guys at the party.

"He did not try and retaliate inside the club," said Smith.

According to Sgt. Tedd Dixon with the Whiteville Police Department, Torres' younger brother and Williams were friends committing crimes together.

"Apparently, there was a conflict over a split between Torres' little brother and Williams," said Dixon.  "Josh then broke into Torres' mother's place."

Dixon said Torres was upset and said something to Williams about the incident and "passed a few words."

"From what Torres is saying, he thought that would be the end of it," explained Dixon.

Williams' family members did not want to comment, as they are still too emotional about the situation.

Police said they are looking into several allegations surrounding the crime and what led up to it.  They say more arrests could be forthcoming, including charges of harassment among others.

This is the third shooting to occur near the Brookberry Park apartment complex in less than two years. Breanna Shipman, 8, was the most recent victim, when she was shot in the leg last July.

Before that, Mark Bracey was shot outside Brookberry in April 2010.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.