Friends and family speak out after deadly shooting at cook-out in Winston-Salem neighborhood

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Eyewitness accounts are now being shared with FOX8 about what happened Saturday night in Winston-Salem when six people were shot at a cookout.

23-year-old Jalen Cockerham was killed. One other victim is in critical condition.

Days after shots rang out on Cody Drive, bullet casings are still on the ground. Torn police tape still hangs on the porch of one home.

“I heard something that sounded like a firecracker. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,” recalls Sandra Morrison, who lives just feet away from where the cookout was.

It was a cookout to celebrate a birthday, but it turned to chaos.

“Fireworks. That’s what it sounded like. That’s when we were gone. Everybody’s everywhere, falling over, trying to get away,” says Sandra Squire. “There were so many cars, there wasn’t really no space to run because there were so many people. It’s just crazy.”

Squire was at the cookout and ran for her own life.

“We were just running, dodging, ducking under any car we could,” she said.

When it quieted down, they realized someone didn’t escape the gunfire.

“Everybody calmed down and came out. Then we realized Jalen was in the street,” says Squire.

Cockerham was a good friend of Squire’s.

She says he was everyone’s friend, a father of two, and a local rapper.

“He was a good dude. Everybody loved him. The city loved him,” said Squire. “This hurt the city. It didn’t just hurt the family, it hurt the whole city.”

It’s a city that’s now shattered, emphasized by the broken glass from flying bullets.

“It’s one bullet hole [here], other people had more,” says Squire, showing FOX8 the bullet hole on the top of her car. “Good thing I wasn’t in the car.”

The sense of security and safety of living in this Winston-Salem neighborhood is now gone, says Morrison.

“I had to run into my home, get on the floor, because bullets don’t have no eyes and you can’t tell that bullet which way to go,” she said.

Now, there’s a call for anyone with information to come forward.

“I’m praying for the family. I hope they get justice,” says Squire.

This, as a community and a family begins to grieve.

“He somebody’s father, somebody’s child, somebody’s son,” said Morrison.

Investigators were on scene for several hours on Monday, going door to door trying to gather more evidence and information.

FOX8 has checked in with the Winston-Salem Police Department for any additional updates on the case.

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