News

Funeral held for man killed in Pamlico Co. boat ramp shooting

Father of 4-year-old killed

Suspects in deadly Pamlico County boat ramp shooting face judge

PAMLICO COUNTY - Loved ones gathered Thursday morning for the funeral of a father killed in a shooting at a Pamlico County boat ramp.

The funeral for John Paul Zubia began at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Bryant Funeral Home & Crematory on 52 Bryant St. in Alliance.

Zubia was killed in a shooting at a boat ramp off Lee Landing road in Reelsboro, said Pamlico County Sheriff Billy Sawyer Jr. The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 13.

Zubia was 24 years old.

Two suspects have been arrested in Zubia's death: 34-year-old Cleveland Caraway, of Alliance, has been charged with an open count of murder, and 31-year-old Kristen Lee, of Grantsboro, has been charged with accessory after the fact.

A judge told Caraway he faces a maximum punishment of death or life in prison without parole if convicted. Lee could get up to 100 months in prison for the accessory charge, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Sheriff Sawyer said the deadly shooting stemmed from a fight over a woman (who is not the female suspect). Zubia, Caraway and another man were involved in that altercation. The other man beat Zubia with a baseball bat before Caraway shot him, Sheriff Sawyer said.

Sheriff Sawyer said the man who hit Zubia with the baseball bat was treated at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern for injuries sustained in the fight with Zubia. Sheriff Sawyer told NewsChannel 12 that man will likely face charges.

Zubia is survived by his 4-year-old son, his parents, three siblings and a large extended family.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Two suspects arrested in the shooting death of a man at a Pamlico County boat ramp faced a judge Friday morning. After their court appearances, NewsChannel 12 talked with the victim's cousin, who said he was there when the shooting happened.

Cleveland Caraway, 34, of Alliance, faced the judge first in the Pamlico County Courthouse in Bayboro. Kristen Lee, 31, of Grantsboro, then followed, as the victim's sobbing family watched.

Caraway is charged with an open count of murder in the shooting death of 24-year-old John Paul Zubia, said Pamlico County Sheriff Billy Sawyer Jr. The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday at a boat ramp off Lee Landing Road in Reelsboro.

The judge told Caraway he faces a maximum punishment of death or life in prison without parole if convicted.

"I want [Caraway] to stay in prison for the rest of his life, knowing his life will never be no better," said the victim's cousin, Neal Miller. "Unbelievable. It still feels like a bad dream, like I should wake up anytime."

Lee is charged with accessory after the fact because her car was used during the crime, according to Sheriff Sawyer. Deputies are also investigating whether Lee helped hide the gun used in the shooting, said the sheriff.

Lee could get up to 100 months in prison for the accessory charge, according to the District Attorney's Office. She has also been charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, and faces additional time if convicted of those offenses.

Attorneys were appointed to both suspects.

Caraway is still being held without bond. His next court date is scheduled for March 7. Meanwhile, Lee's bond remains at $100,000. Her next court appearance is set for April 25.

Sheriff Sawyer said the deadly shooting stemmed from a fight over a woman (who is not the female suspect). Zubia, Caraway and another man were involved in that altercation. The other man beat Zubia with a baseball bat before Caraway shot him, Sheriff Sawyer said.

Miller said he was also at the boat ramp when Zubia was shot.

"He hollered, 'Oh, he hit me, he shot me,' and he made it to the car and collapsed and then, he wasn't breathing," Miller said.

Miller said the bullet went through Zubia's left arm, and pieced his heart and lungs. Miller then called 911. But when help didn't come soon enough, Miller and other family members rushed Zubia to the hospital, Miller told NewsChannel 12. However, it was too late.

"My cousin's laying in the morgue now dead," said Miller. "It's terrible; there's no sense for this."

Sheriff Sawyer said the man who hit Zubia with the baseball bat was being treated at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern for injuries sustained in the fight with Zubia. Sheriff Sawyer told NewsChannel 12 that man will likely face charges.

Zubia is survived by his 4-year-old son, his parents, three siblings and a large extended family.

"We've suffered a loss, but we will continue to fight through it," said Miller. "We will be at every trial, every parole hearing [Caraway] gets. We'll be there to make sure he never gets out."

VICTIM'S FAMILY REACT TO SHOOTING:

NewsChannel 12 spoke with Zubia's family about the deadly shooting. They said some of Zubia's family members were at the scene when the confrontation happened. After Zubia was shot, those family members rushed him to the hospital.

Zubia was shot in the left arm. according to family. The bullet then hit his heart and lungs.

When other family members arrived at the hospital, they were told Zubia had died.

"I thought I was going to the hospital to see my brother walk out of there with just the sling on his arm from a gunshot," said his sister, Christina Zubia. "I didn't think I was going to walk out of there without my brother."

Zubia's family said they are devastated that Zubia won't see his 4-year-old son grow up.

"We lost one of the threads that held this family together," said his mother, Sina Zubia. "And now, we got this beautiful family that has to grow up without a father. We got a little boy who is gonna come home and wonder where his daddy is and what are we supposed to tell him?"

The family also described Zubia as a fun, caring and loving man. Zubia worked on fishing boats for a living and was also a carpenter.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Investigators have arrested two suspects in the shooting death of a man at a Pamlico County boat ramp early Thursday, and said the murder stemmed from a fight over a woman.

According to Pamlico County Sheriff Billy Sawyer Jr., 34-year-old Cleveland Caraway II (above left) has been charged with an open count of murder in the shooting death of 24-year-old John Paul Zubia (above right). The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday at a boat ramp off Lee Landing Road in Reelsboro.

Another suspect, 31-year-old Krista Lee (center), has been charged with accessory after the fact because her car was used during the crime, said Sheriff Sawyer. Deputies are also investigating whether Lee helped hide the gun used in the shooting, the sheriff said.

The two suspects were arrested late Thursday afternoon at Lee's home on Scotts Store Road in Grantsboro, investigators said.

Sheriff Sawyer said the deadly shooting stemmed from a fight over a woman (who is not the female suspect). Zubia, Caraway and another man were involved in that altercation. The other man beat Zubia with a baseball bat before Caraway shot him, Sheriff Sawyer said.

Sheriff Sawyer said the man who hit Zubia with the baseball bat was being treated at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern for injuries sustained in the fight with Zubia. Investigators will talk with the district attorney to decide whether charges will be filed against the third man. Sheriff Sawyer told NewsChannel 12 that man will likely face charges.

Sheriff Sawyer said the confrontation was planned because text and Facebook messages were exchanged beforehand.

Investigators said they are not looking for anyone else in this case.

Caraway is being held without bond and Lee's bond was set a $100,000. Both are scheduled to have their first court appearances Friday morning.

According to public records, Caraway had served about  1-and-a-half years in prison for assault to inflict serious body injury. In addition, he was convicted of drug possession, resisting a public officer and injury to personal property.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Deputies have identified a father who was shot and killed at a Pamlico County boat ramp early Thursday.

According to Capt. James Mitchell of the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office, John Paul Zubia, 24, was shot and killed at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday at a boat ramp off Lee Landing Road in Reelsboro. Zubia was a father to a 4-year-old son.

Zubia's family told NewsChannel 12 that one man hit the victim with a bat while another man shot him. Zubia was shot in the left arm. The bullet then hit his heart and lungs, his family said. The victim died at a hospital.

The State Bureau of Investigation is also looking into this case. At last check, deputies were still looking for the attackers. There was no word on a motive.

Family members said Zubia went attended Pamlico High School, where he was a football player.


Most Popular