Two cousins caught in gunfire: one dead, one in hospital in drive-by shooting

Police release photo of a car of interest
The two women were completely innocent, with no gang ties, police say
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:48 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 7:48 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Police say the two women caught in gunfire Thursday on South 13th Street were cousins leaving a family member’s house.

The women were completely innocent, with no gang ties, police say.

Investigators say 50-year-old Tracey Lee McKoy of Wake Forrest, NC died of injuries sustained in the shooting. Her cousin, 48-year-old Tammy Yvette Lamb-Brown was also injured in the drive-by shooting.

On Monday, family members confirmed Lamb-Brown was released from the hospital.

Lamb-Brown’s sister, Tonya Lamb says both women were professionals that had no ties to violence. The family is struggling to understand why the two women were shot.

The victims were visiting family members Thursday afternoon. Tammy Lamb-Brown was leaving her mother’s house to go make dinner at home, and Tracey McKoy was going to visit a sick relative at the hospital, but before either woman made it to their cars, they were shot.

Lamb-Brown’s mother had to watch as her daughter and niece suffered gunshot wounds on the sidewalk outside her house. The 911 calls from Thursday depict relatives desperately begging dispatchers for help.

Family describes both victims as career women who were very close to their family.

Tracey McKoy was an accountant and a realtor who lived in Wake Forest. Lamb describes her cousin, Tracey as driven, smart and funny.

Tammy Lamb-Brown is a surgical tech at the hospital. Her sister, Lamb, describes her as being a hard worker, with close ties to her family.

“They are two women who went to work every day and went home every day and then in between would love on their family. That’s what we do, that’s all we do. That’s our family. No one in our family has a violent streak in us so this was truly — I don’t know — mistaken identity or what,” said Tonya Lamb.

Now, family can only wait for investigators to find who is responsible for the deadly shooting. Lamb is hopeful officials can bring the shooter or shooters to justice so another family wont have to go through the same nightmare. Lamb believes the only way to stop tragedies like this is to fix our hearts, love our neighbors and pray for our enemies.

“This is a heart condition. People’s hearts are waxed cold if you can just, without knowing them, ever meeting them...,” explained Lamb. “Your heart is cold when you can do something like that,” said Lamb.

At 5:27 p.m., WPD responded to a drive-by shooting at the 800-block of South 13th Street, Captain Thomas Tilmon said. The Wilmington Police Department held a news conference in the 800 block of South 14th Street Thursday evening regarding the deadly drive-by shooting.

Thursday’s shooting happened one day after individuals in two cars fired shots at each other at 5th and Grace Streets, and less than a week after two people died in a shooting at a home in the Middle Sound area.

“It’s horrible — the violence has to stop. Violence begets violence. Vengeance and street justice are never the answer,” Tilmon said. “Taking justice into your own hands is never a solution to anything that goes on in the city or the county.”

Investigators have not said these incidents are related, but they are recent examples of gun violence.

Captain Tilmon, who oversees the Criminal Investigations Division, said in light of recent events, police have increased patrols in areas prone to violence.

“Chief Williams has put extra officers, the detectives that work in my division, our other special operations officers, canine officers — they’re all working extra hours right now, everyone’s working extra hours right now,” Tilmon said. “This has already been a long week for me. We anticipate a long weekend, and a long week next week and the officers and detectives that are at the Wilmington Police Department all know what we’re facing next week in light of recent events.”

While they are not expecting more violence, he said, “Anytime you have violence like what happened out in Ogden, that typically does trigger additional violence which is why Chief Williams bolstered our personnel as he did.”

Tilmon said they already have good information and good leads from citizens on Thursday’s case.

Police have released a photo of a car of interest from today’s shooting.

It is believed to be a light color Lexus 4-door with a sunroof. If you see this vehicle, please don’t approach, and call 911 immediately.

It is believed to be a light color Lexus 4-door with a sunroof. If you see this vehicle, please...
It is believed to be a light color Lexus 4-door with a sunroof. If you see this vehicle, please don't approach, and call 911 immediately.(WPD)

Police are asking anyone with any information about any of the recent shootings to reach out to them at (910)-343-3609 or text a tip by sending an anonymous text message to 847411 (tip411) and including the keyword WPDNC.

* The relationship between the two women has been corrected after the initial WPD release said they were sisters.

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