WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Two men were found shot dead inside a vehicle next to a popular park in Winston-Salem Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
Around 12:23 p.m., officers were sent to an “unknown trouble” call near Tyler Street, according to dispatchers.
Carolyn Banner Williams, who lives nearby, says she called in to report the bodies after someone told her what they had seen.
“They approached the car to ask for a lighter,” Williams said. “I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what they told me and that’s when they saw the two men dead in the front seat.”
When officers arrived, they found the two men, identified as 19-year-old Jeremiah Christian Hardy-Praylor and 23-year-old Gregory Louis Mobley, inside a vehicle near the 1000 block of Glencairn Road.
By 1:30 p.m., police officially referred to the investigation as a double homicide.
Hardy-Praylor was a rising sophmore at Winston-Salem State University. Guilford County Schools spokesperson Tina Firesheets said Hardy-Praylor graduated from Northeast Guilford High School in 2017. She called him a "successful honors athlete," having played basketball and football.
Glencairn Road runs along Easton Park, which neighbors say is a popular area for children and families.
“During the school year, kids come and have soccer practice, they walk their dogs. Ladies with their strollers, we hang out at that park. Sixty, 70 people every evening,” Williams added. “Cars will be lined up all along the side of the park. So, this is totally uncharacteristic.”
Around 4 p.m., police confirmed that both men appear to have been killed by gunfire.
“We have a peace garden that was dedicated to offsetting that violence so that the kids could walk through the park and not feel afraid,” Williams said. “This is going to terrorize them. I’m so sorry that this happened here.”
Police said this does not appear to be a random act and the shooter was known to the victims.
These are the 16th and 17th homicides in the city of Winston-Salem in 2018.