WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Investigators with the Wilmington Police Department have arrested two teenagers in connection to the murder of Shane Simpson, 16, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on Castle Street Sunday.
According to the WPD, authorities arrested and charged Tyrek Desmond Anderson, 17, of Wilmington, Tuesday with first-degree murder.
Following his arrest, numerous leads from the public helped investigators identify Deandre Nixon, 16, of Wilmington, as a suspect. He was taken into custody Wednesday and also charged with first-degree murder.
Anderson and Nixon were both placed in the New Hanover County Jail and are awaiting their first court appearance.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are likely.
New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David spoke of the shooting in an interview Wednesday.
"This was a shooting in broad daylight in a public square where five different young people were shot. We need to get justice in this case," David said.
Police responded to Shot Spotter technology near the intersection of Eleventh and Castle streets around 11:40 Sunday morning.
Responding officers found four teenage boys with gunshot wounds at the scene. Simpson was lying unresponsive on the ground. Officers later located another teenage boy with a gunshot wound who had left the scene before their arrival. The teens were aged 15, 15, 16, and 17.
One teen that was with Simpson called 911 immediately after the shooting.
911 caller: "There was a shooting and I got hit and my friend got hit. Shane!"
Two minutes into the call an officer is heard telling everyone at the scene to backup. The dispatcher then tells the caller to not give Simpson anything to eat or drink.
911 caller: "I don't think he's breathing..."
Dispatcher: "Are the officers out there?
911 caller: "Hurry up, quick!"
Dispatcher: "Do you see the officers out there?"
911 caller: "Yes!"
The dispatcher then tells the caller to talk to the officers at the scene.
The four other teens shot in the incident were treated and released from the hospital.
Police news conference
Captain Jim Varrone said police believe Simpson and the four other teens were shot after a dark colored sedan drove by the corner and fired multiple shots.
Investigators also believe two other shootings that happened a short time later, one on Clay Street and another on South 17th Street, were connected to the Castle Street shooting, and were all gang-related.
Varrone added that most of the victims from the initial shooting are validated gang members or have gang affiliations, but declined to say which gangs were involved.
Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said the community needs to step up to prevent gang violence. He also added the family and friends of gang members have a responsibility to come forward with information before more violent crimes happen.
Evangelous also said current methods for preventing violent crimes like ankle bracelets are not effective.
"Our job is to protect society and ankle bracelets are not protecting society," Evangelous explained. "I can tell you that right now, and tell your legislators that. Some people need to be incarcerated. They're a danger to society. We put ankle bracelets on them and that's going to solve all our problems – well, folks it is not."
Representative Susi Hamilton agreed with Evangelous.
"I take to heart what he says that if they're not being effective, they're not working for the use in which they were intended to be used then something else has to be done," Hamilton said.
Hamilton said if the ankle bracelets aren't working, something else needs to be done.
"We're very concerned that we need to do something at the legislative level. We can help make these communities safer and work with the parents and the schools and the grandparents and aunts and uncles to turn this around. It's a very scary time right now for a lot of people," Hamilton said.