WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – This weekend's performances at the Community Arts Center will be dedicated to 19-year-old Joshua Proutey, who was murdered near the theater Thursday night. The theater is also taking donations for his family.
According to police, Proutey was shot Thursday night while heading to his car after working an event at the Community Arts Center on Second and Orange Streets.
Authorities say a patron of the Community Arts Center found Proutey next to a truck around 11 p.m. Officers say Proutey had a gunshot wound to the head. Several calls were made to 911 to report the incident, but none of the callers had any details about what happened.
"It's a lot of blood coming from his head or something and he has his keys in his hand," said one of the callers. "He don't have a pulse or anything."
All of the 911 callers told operators the young man "was just laying there." Additionally they all said "there's a lot of blood."
911 operators walked one of the callers through the steps of CPR in an effort to save Joshua.
According to police, Proutey had no criminal history and it appeared some property was taken from him. Authorities are looking for any nearby security cameras for clues in this case.
"Based on what we know right now, this victim was completely innocent," said Lt. Tom Witkowski.
Friends say Joshua worked at the center for a few months. He used to be a marine. He was going to CFCC and just last week, he was excited about passing his anatomy test. They say he wanted to be a doctor. Friends describe Joshua as a quiet guy who was a hard worker. Joshua attended West Johnston High School.
CFCC released the following statement regarding Joshua's death:
The entire Cape Fear Community College family is saddened to hear about the loss of Joshua Proutey. Our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends during this extremely difficult time.
The Thalian Association Children's Theater's production The Hobbit that was scheduled for Friday night at the Community Arts Center has been canceled in respect of Proutey. Saturday and Sunday's performances will go on as planned.
People who bought tickets for Friday's performance can use them for either Saturday or Sunday's shows.
There will be an increased security presence at the arts center this weekend to make sure all performers and patrons are safe.
Susan Habas, managing director for the Thalian Association says there will be some type of outreach group or counseling available for kids in The Hobbit or with the Thalian Association's Children's Theater.
There have been many concerns regarding the lighting of the parking lot next to the Community Arts Center.
According to Malissa Talbert, the City of Wilmington purchased the parking lot three years ago and added lights. She said that before this incident workers with Lanier Parking had been evaluating the area to see if more lights were needed.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3600.
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