Investigators: Homicide could be retaliation for another shooting

Investigators: Homicide could be retaliation for another shooting
Published: Dec. 12, 2017 at 1:04 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2017 at 5:56 PM EST
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WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - One man died and another was injured in a shooting in Whiteville late Monday night.

Investigators with the Whiteville Police Department say there is information to indicate this shooting is in retaliation for another that happened at Saw Mill Apartments on Nov. 26 in which a man narrowly escaped injury.

According to Hal Lowder with the City of Whiteville, officers responded to a report of a gunshot victim at the Happy Mart Convenience Store at the corner of JK Powell Blvd. and Virgil St. just before 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Officers found two men with apparent gunshot wounds sitting in a vehicle in front of the store.

Witnesses told investigators several shots were fired and the driver, 36-year-old Deron Dewitt Blanks, fell out of the driver's side door. The passenger, 30-year-old Elliot Ward Dew, was also shot in the upper body.

Both men were taken to Columbus Regional Hospital where the passenger died. Blanks remains in the hospital for further evaluation.

Officers secured several shell casings at the scene and saw multiple holes in the driver side door.

The Whiteville Police Department has obtained felony warrants in reference to the Saw Mill shooting for 20-year-old Corey Tashombae Hines of Charlotte and 26-year-old Taquay Montez Newkirk of Whiteville.

The store clerk who was working during the shooting wanted to remain anonymous, but said he was at the register when he heard more than 10 gunshots ring out in just a few seconds.

He said he called 911 and ran outside, but the suspect or suspects in the shooting had already gotten away.

"(The victim) fell to the ground. He tried to stand up and hit the wall and he was just flopping back and forth," the clerk said.

"I went over to the car and it was one of our customers and he was covered in blood. He asked me if he has been shot in the head, if he had a hole in his head or if they missed him," the clerk added. "And he just started screaming, 'They killed my friend. They killed my friend.'"

The clerk says he hasn't witnessed anything that violent at the store before.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspects is asked to call the Whiteville Police Department at 910-642-5111.

The SBI has been contacted to assist the WPD Investigations Unit with the case.

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