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Man charged with killing grandfather, 6-year-old cousin

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SNOW HILL — A 6-year-old child and his grandfather are dead after Greene County authorities say a relative shot them at their home Tuesday evening.

Upon arrival at the Davis Grove Church Road home west of Snow Hill, sheriff's deputies found 68-year-old Johnny Jefferson dead and 6-year-old Isaiah Hill suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The child was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday night while undergoing emergency surgery.

While deputies were on the scene, a person of interest was identified as 20-year-old Myles Jefferson Duggins, who also lived at the home. Duggins is Jefferson's grandson and Hill's cousin.

Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith said Duggins fled in a stolen vehicle that was equipped with an OnStar in-vehicle security system. Using the system's tracking service, the vehicle was located and stopped shortly after 7 p.m. in Raleigh, where Duggins was taken into custody by Raleigh police officers.

Duggins later was interviewed by Greene County investigators and confessed to the crimes, Smith said. He has been charged with two open counts of murder and is being held without bond in the Greene County Detention Center. Duggins will also be charged with larceny of a motor vehicle.

The Jefferson family issued a statement regarding the double homicide.

"This tragedy has many layers for us and includes not just the sudden and tragic death of our father, Johnny B. Jefferson, and our brother, Isaiah, but also the the immense weight of the involvement of our nephew Myles Jefferson Duggins," the statement reads.

"At this time, as we grieve the immense circumstances, we encourage families to have serious conversations about mental illness."

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