JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Jacksonville police are investigating multiple incidents of pellet or BB gun shootings that happened on Halloween around the city.
Between the hours of 8:45 and 9:30 p.m., officers responded to multiple calls in response to multiple pellet/BB gun shooting incidents. The areas impacted were Brynn Marr, Ashley Park Apartments and the Jacksonville Mall.
“We got called to Country Club Road to an apartment complex, they’re also called to the Jacksonville Mall. And then the latest call to Brynn Marr Road,” said Capt. Richard Kellum with the Jacksonville Police Department.
Investigators believe each incident is related to the other. No major injuries were reported, and Onslow EMS was on the scene to assess and treat all those who were struck. Kellum said there were five victims overall.
“We have no reason to believe that any of our victims are related. However, we believe that all three incidents involve the same perpetrators,” Kellum said.
Officials say reports indicate up to four suspects were in a dark-colored SUV, possibly a Ford Explorer or Chevrolet Suburban. The BB gun was described as a rifle with a red laser attachment.
Codie Smith and her daughter, Harliee Vest, were walking along Brynn Marr Road when the shots were fired there.
“This black SUV circled us and came back and circled us again and I said ‘Something ain’t right with that’,” said Smith. “And then they came back and they said ‘Happy Halloween’ and pulled out the guns and started shooting at us.”
Smith said her instincts kicked in to protect her daughter, shielding her from danger. Her daughter was hit by one of the pellets. Smith was hit 11 times, including in the head, eye and hand, even breaking her wrist.
“I didn’t think it was really at first, I thought that it was just some punk kids playing,” Smith said. “And until I looked down and then my hand was leaking blood. And then my daughter was crying. And that’s when it all set in.”
Kellum said they are seeking as much information as possible from anyone who can help.
“We don’t have information that this was related to Halloween,” Kellum said. “However, the fact that it happened on Halloween, I think it was probably the perpetrators. In this case, we’re taking advantage of the Halloween, the people that were out on the street.”
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact JPD Detective B. Stitz at 910-938-5039 or email@example.com or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards of up to $5,000 for information determined to be of value to law enforcement. Callers to Crime Stoppers are not required to reveal their identities.
Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES).