WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The family of a 19-year-old woman killed in a shooting in Winston-Salem in March is pleading for the public’s help to find her killer.
“Justice. Until you seek it, and can’t find it, sometimes you don’t know what it means. But, it’s what we’re looking for,” said Ladawn Deion Morgan’s uncle, Michael Warren. “Not revenge, for that is of the Lord.”
Police say they responded to 903 Rich Ave. shortly before 2 p.m. on March 27. There, they found Morgan, who had been shot in her abdomen. Morgan was then transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“You kind of know what’s coming. You’re saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’” Warren recalled. “They were saying her blood pressure dropped and they had started CPR on her and I don’t remember anything after that.”
Morgan died that day. Police say she was an innocent bystander – in the wrong place at the wrong time – who had been shot during a dispute between two groups who were exchanging gunfire.
“To be in this situation, you never really realize how serious it is,” said Morgan’s uncle, Travis Warren. “How it really affects people.”
In following weeks, police say they identified a person of interest, who they believe may have traveled to either Atlanta or an unknown location in Florida. But, they now believe that man may have returned to Winston-Salem.
“You ended her life, but man, you changed a lot of other lives too,” Michael Warren said. “That ripple effect will literally go on for generations.”
Morgan’s family spoke about how she will be absent for their family vacation this summer, Christmas this winter and everything in between.
“She was just so excited about her life,” said her grandmother, Carolyn Bailey.
Other relatives who were present included Morgan’s mother, April Warren Morgan, her father, Fredrick Morgan, her brother, Fred Mitchell and another uncle, Malchom Warren. When asked if dealing with her death has become any easier for them in the months following, the family’s answer was a resounding, “No.”
“You up walking around, one minute you just, like something hit you in the pit of your stomach and you’re just crying,” Bailey said.
Bailey continued, describing Morgan’s mother’s struggles with the loss of her daughter, saying that she recently collapsed through the door of her home saying, “'Mama, she’s gone. Mama, I’ll never see her again.’ I mean, it’s just like reliving it.”
Police say they have some items of evidence still being processed and believe other witnesses have not yet come forward.
“Reach deep down within yourself and say, ‘I gotta, I gotta speak up. I gotta tell what happened,’” Bailey said.
Of Morgan’s killer, her uncle Malchom Warren said, “I want you to know, whoever you are, the pain you’ve caused our family and I hope you’ll be brought to justice.”
Police say 79-year-old Alexander Eugene Barber Jr. was also hit during the shooting. Barber said in an interview with FOX8 that he was reading his Bible when the shooting began. Barber was shot in the face, but was able to return home two days later.