WJTV News Channel 12 - Reward offered in Griffin Street homicide

Reward offered in Griffin Street homicide

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Investigators said Thursday they've developed leads and suspects in a shooting on Griffin Street that left one man dead and another with serious injuries.

It happened May 23.

25-year-old Willie Smith died and his friend, Deontra Wilkes, was seriously injured.

Detectives said Thursday they believe there are other people who have important information about the investigation.

That same night, someone shot a man in the back behind the Hilton. And the crimes kept police busy throughout the night.
     
It was the third homicide of the year in Greenville. And Chief Hassan Aden said his department wouldn't rest until it's solved.

It all started around 9:15 p.m. on Thursday night and gunshots rang out on Griffin Street.
 
"About 5,6 gunshots like "pow, pow, pow, pow, pow," exclaimed George Lane. He said he walked outside to find his grandson, 23-year-old Deontra Wilkes shot six times.

Smith, their neighbor, was killed in the incident.
     
Dozens of family and friends gathered in the street the next day with only one question, why?

"I know my grandson ain't in no gang," said Lane. "I know that boy wasn't in no gang. If they have beef with somebody about something else, I don't know."

People tell 9 On Your Side the violence has to stop.    

Greenville Police made their presence known in the neighborhood the following day. It's something Chief Aden said his officers would have done regardless of the shooting.

"We are out there," said Aden. "We're in our communities, we're in our hotspots and I think we've actually been able to combat a lot of the violence that other neighboring jurisdictions are seeing. I do believe that this is probably related to some regional issues and conflicts."

Despite the shootings, crime in Greenville is actually down 9 percent compared to last year.

Chief Aden admitted his officers can't be everywhere at all times, but he said it's the actions they take now that will matter most.

"Our staff is dedicated going into this Memorial Day weekend," said Aden. "A lot of our staff that had plans, canceled those plans, and we're not going to rest until we hold somebody accountable for this. It's inexcusable violence and we will not tolerate it."

Anyone with information about the shootings should call Greenville Police at 252-329-4315. Pitt-Greenville CrimeStoppers will pay a reward  of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

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