WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The man accused of firing shots earlier this month claims he did so in self defense.
On Monday, WECT News learned the person the suspect reportedly fired shots at had been charged for forcing his way into a home before.
Wilmington police responded to a shooting on 12th and Greenfield streets just before 8 p.m. Friday, December 6. Officers were called to the scene after receiving a ShotSpotter alert around 8 p.m. On arrival, police found the victim bleeding and cared for him until EMS arrived.
A neighbor says he was sitting inside his house watching TV when he heard the shots ring out.
“I saw somebody lying in the middle of the street, right on 12th street and he had a gunshot wound in the chest, and the neck and on the side. His pants was down and he was curled up. You know, and they were stopping traffic because traffic was turning in and they almost ran him over,” said George Treadwell.
The police department’s spokesperson, Linda Thompson, confirms the 23-year-old victim was seriously injured in the shooting. He was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in serious but stable condition and is expected to survive. Emergency room staff credit the quick thinking of officers on scene with saving the victim’s life.
Gregory Glenn Simpson Jr, 37, was arrested several hours after the shooting. He is charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill. If convicted, the charge carries a sentence of up to 19 years in prison.
“It was an extremely violent encounter. There was one officer that held the neck, the gunshot wound to the neck, while the other officer prepared to seal chest wound to the chest and if not for the measures, according to the attending surgeon, it might be a homicide,” the assistant district attorney said in court at Simpson’s first court appearance.
Police believe Simpson shot the victim during a dispute. During a court appearance Monday, Simpson claims she shooting was in self defense.
"That man came into my home and threatened me and my children and I thought I did what was fit to protect my wife and my two children,” Simpson told the judge.
The man Simpson reportedly shot, Tyre Omar Barden, has been accused of forcing his way into a home in the past.
Barden was charged in 2016 with robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary, felony conspiracy, and assault with a deadly weapon after he and another man reportedly broke into a woman’s apartment at gunpoint. Barden was released from prison in April of 2019 after spending three and a half years in prison for kidnapping, robbery and breaking and entering.
The shooting comes as Wilmington has seen an increase in gun violence. Eight people were injured in nine shootings in just two weeks. Police say most of the shootings are gang or drug-related.
Simpson is in the New Hanover County jail under a $200,000 bond.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Wilmington police at (910)-343-3620 or visit www.tip708.com to submit an anonymous tip. You can also submit an anonymous tip via text by sending a message to “CRIMES” and starting your message with “Tip708″.