One person was killed and three others were injured in an aggravated assault early Friday morning in Rocky Mount that neighbors say may have been gang related.
Rocky Mount police responded to the incident around 12:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Branch Street.
Officers found two victims, who were taken to Nash General Hospital for their injuries. A short time later, two more victims arrived at Nash General hospital with injuries from the assault.
One of the victims, 18-year-old Devonta Eburg, died of his injuries at Nash General.
Two of the victims, ages 21 and 26, who were taken to Nash General were later transferred to Vidant Hospital in Greenville where they were treated and released.
The fourth victim, a 17-year-old, was treated and released from Nash General.
Eburg's girlfriend was D'Nay Jia Deacons, who said the shooting was gang related.
"You lose somebody you love because they want to fight over a gang," she said of her boyfriend of 6 years. "What do you get [by] killing somebody? I don't get it."
Deacons and others grieved at the spot where Eburg was fatally shot Friday, wondering when the violence will end.
"They need to stop," Deacons said. "They're fighting over streets -- it's not that serious. Over a color? Red or blue? What for?"
In January, four teens were shot on a Rocky Mount basketball court; and a week prior, 15-year-old Brian Freeman was killed in a drive-by shooting. The Boys and Girls Club of Nash and Edgecombe Counties said it is battling for the attention of same teens as gangs in the area.
"They're recruiting very early now -- going into the middle schools and getting a lot of these young kids," explained Ron Green with the Boys and Girls Club of Nash and Edgecombe Counties. "We give them everything the gangs are trying to give them -- a sense of belonging, a sense of usefulness, a sense of power and influence."
The incident is being investigated as a homicide and anyone with information is asked to call the Rocky Mount Police Department at (252) 972-1411.
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Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.
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