Police probe Pender Street shootings

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UPDATE: Authorities have identified two people who were shot and injured Wednesday. Police were dispatched to Tropicana Foods at 603 Pender St. regarding a shooting. When officers arrived they found 19-year-old Chakeem N. Whitaker of Laurinburg suffering from a gunshot wound to his foot, according to Sgt. Steve Stroud. While officers were on the scene, 20-year-old Safari Ashby of Wilson came back to the scene and was suffering from a gunshot wound to the back, Stroud said. Police said the victims were not cooperative with investigating officers. Ashby and Whitaker were transported to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville for treatment, police said. Anyone with information regarding this case can contact the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crimestoppers at 252-243-2255. — Olivia Neeley

Wilson police are investigating the shootings of two young men Monday afternoon.

An unidentified witness said a car pulled halfway into the driveway of a home on the 600 block of Pender Street and someone started shooting at the victims as they walked from the nearby Tropicana Foods store.

The witness, who lives directly across from where the shooting occurred, said that after the shots were fired, the car sped away from the scene.

James Macklin, of Louisburg, was in traffic at the corner of the 500 block of Pender Street SE and the 800 block of Suggs Street SE, which is at the Tropicana Foods store, when he heard the shots.

“I didn’t actually see the actually shooting, but I just heard it,” Macklin said. “When I heard the shots, I immediately looked and saw the boys running and I just got down. I took cover because they were running in my direction.”

Macklin was approaching the stop sign when he looked to his left and saw the young men running.

“I had pulled over a little bit because I was trying to set my GPS to figure out the quickest way to get back to Louisburg, and then, all of a sudden, ‘Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow’ and I see the guys running from that way,” Macklin said “After the shots I saw the boys running back this way, I guess trying to get away from the shots.”

“Everybody kind of took cover and ducked,” Macklin said. “There was a young man sitting there on the concrete when it happened and he took off running too.”

Macklin estimated that he heard four to six shots.
“They were quick, they were real quick,” Macklin said.

“One of them got shot in the foot and we finally got him to sit down on the ground over here,” Macklin said, pointing to the parking lot of the Tropicana. “The one that was shot in the back came running over here, then walked across the street over there at that apartment, then came back over here. We finally got him to sit down on the tailgate of this truck. The young man had just got something to eat from this store right here. That’s his sandwich sitting there on the truck that he didn’t get to finish eating.”

Macklin, who is a former emergency medical technician in Wilson and in Louisburg, said he tried to render aid.

“Both of them were scared and shocked, of course. They kept saying ‘I’m all right. I’m all right,’ but, of course, we see them bleeding. I saw the hole in the guy’s shirt and in his back. We kept telling him to stop, ‘You’re bleeding’ and he kept saying he was all right. I told him there was an entry wound, but no exit wound. I told him ‘That’s right at your kidneys. You need to go get that checked out and get that taking care of.’”

Macklin said the gun “sounded like an M-60 firecracker going off.”

Wilson County EMS took both victims from the scene for medical treatment.

A police report states that the shootings took place between 5:30 and 5:35 p.m. Wilson police had not released any information on the investigation as of press time.