NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A dispute over a vehicle may have been the motive for a triple shooting near a New Bern car shop that left one man dead, according to the victim's family.
New Bern Police said 26-year-old Andrew L. West, of Vanceboro, was killed in the shooting near Oaks Road Monday morning. In addition, 32-year-old Marcello L. Bryant, of Cove City, and 29-year-old Terrell D. Evans, of New Bern, were injured.
West's mother, Gloria West Gooding, told NewsChannel 12 that a dispute over her son's vehicle may have sparked the shooting.
According to West's girlfriend, Jasmine Freeman, West sent his vehicle to the car shop to be painted. But the shop owner had his vehicle for about four months and didn't do anything to fix it, Freeman said.
West then went with two friends- Bryant and Evans- to the car shop to get his money back, said Gooding.
"This wasn't a drug deal gone bad. This wasn't a robbery gone bad. This was a car deal gone bad," Freeman said.
District Attorney Scott Thomas said police were initially questioning a person about the shooting. But he has since been released from custody and no charges have been filed. Investigators are working to see if the shooting is a case of self-defense, said Thomas.
An autopsy on West was being performed Tuesday morning.
"Andrew [West] was the type to always be to himself. But it's just sad how somebody could take another parent's child's life," said Gooding.
Richard Skinner owns the land that the car shop is on. He said the shop owner, known as "Peanut," had never caused him any trouble.
"Well, with a name like 'Peanut,' you know he's got to be nice. He's always been nice to me and paid his rent," Skinner said.
New Bern Police said they first got the call of shots being fired on the 2100 block of Alabama Avenue at 11:15 a.m. Monday. When officers arrived, they found Bryant in a vehicle at Beech Street and Alabama Avenue. West was discovered in a yard at Dail Street and Florida Avenue, police said.
Both men had gunshot wounds and were taken to CarolinaEast Medical Center, where West was pronounced dead, according to investigators. Bryant was then transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, but his condition has not been released.
The third shooting victim, Evans, was already at Carolina East Medical Center when officers arrived, said police. There is no word on his condition.
Debbie Frederick lives just a few houses down the street from the scene.
"I heard a shot, or it sounded like a shot. Then I heard it again. I said, 'that's a gun shot,' and then I heard it again, and I said, 'that's three gun shots,'" Frederick told NewsChannel 12.
Frederick said she then walked outside to see what was happening.
"Two ambulances came and one of the guys- they were doing CPR as they were putting him in the ambulance," Frederick said.
Annette Canady said she's lived in the neighborhood for more than 50 years and this type of crime doesn't usually happen.
"I was just inside in my kitchen and I heard two shots, so I got to the window and the front door and I don't see anything. By the time I get back to the kitchen, I hear all the cop cars and sirens going off," Canady said.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call New Bern Police at 252-633-2022.