Family shattered after newlywed father of eight murdered Sunday - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Family shattered after newlywed father of eight murdered Sunday

Tamra Heckstall displays her marriage certificate with husband Rickey Heckstall after they were married last Tuesday. (Source: Tamra Heckstall) Tamra Heckstall displays her marriage certificate with husband Rickey Heckstall after they were married last Tuesday. (Source: Tamra Heckstall)
Rickey and Tamra Heckstall are pictured with some of the family's children. (Source: Tamra Heckstall) Rickey and Tamra Heckstall are pictured with some of the family's children. (Source: Tamra Heckstall)
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

A Riegelwood man was killed during a possible shooting in Columbus County early Sunday morning, according to the sheriff's office.

The incident happened on Lizzie's Drive in the Bolton community.

Tamra Heckstall said she and Rickey Recardo Heckstall met in 2013 and were married last Tuesday.

"It is very hard. I don't know what I'm gonna do because he is all I know," Tamra said.

Tamra recalled her final moments talking to her husband late Saturday night. According to the family, he was hired to be a security guard at a celebration of life event at The Hideaway, a private club in Bolton.

"We talked up until about 1:13 a.m. and he told me everything was fine, and I got the call about 5 o'clock that morning," Tamra said.

Ironically, Heckstall, 35, was shot dead as he was working to protect others that night. Authorities say a 911 call came in from the club's Lizzie's Drive location early Sunday morning.

Authorities have not confirmed that is where the shooting occurred. 

Michele Tatum, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said a 911 call came in shortly before 5 a.m. about a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

Rickey Heckstall was the father of eight children, according to Tamra, who is pregnant with his child. The two have three children together.

"He was a big-hearted person, always tried to look out for people, look out for his family," said Heckstall's mother, Brendella Blanks. "He was our protector, so now our protector is gone." 

Heckstall was taken by personal vehicle to the Dominos off US 74 in Delco and then taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he later died.

Another man was killed at the Hideaway Club in 2011. It has been a hot spot for crime over the past decade.

The family has a plea for whoever may be responsible. 

"This is my only son. Someone has taken his life. We want justice for my son," Blanks said.  

Tatum said detectives are awaiting autopsy results to confirm how Heckstall died.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

Heckstall has had several run-ins with law enforcement, but no connection has been drawn from any previous incident to his killing. 

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