Two Wilmington teens have been charged with murder after a Sunday morning drive-by shooting on Castle Street that left one teenage boy dead and four others injured. Investigators have characterized the shooting as gang-related.
Tyrek Desmond Anderson, 17, and Deandre Nixon, 16, each have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 16-year-old Shane Simpson, who was shot and killed just before noon at the intersection of 11th and Castle streets, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay.
Four other teens, ages 15 to 17, were also struck by bullets when a dark-colored sedan drove by the corner of the intersection and its occupants fired shots at the group of teens around 11:40 a.m. Sunday. Simpson died at the scene. The other teens were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be treated for injures that were not considered life-threatening. They have since been released from the hospital.
Wilmington detectives arrested Anderson on Tuesday, Lindsay said.
“Since his arrest numerous leads have come in from the public, which aided investigators with obtaining information about a co-defendant,” Lindsay said.
In a press conference Monday, Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said citizens provided at least 10 tips through the police department’s anonymous “Text-a-Tip” line that he believed would help bring the case to a “successful conclusion.”
On Wednesday, investigators obtained a warrant for first-degree murder and arrested Nixon, Lindsay said. Both suspects are waiting a first appearance in court.
“The investigation is continuing and additional charges are likely. More information will be made available as this case continues to unfold,” Lindsay said.
Investigators suspect two additional shootings that stretched across the city Sunday afternoon – one on Clay Street and another on 17th Street – are related to the shooting on Castle Street, Capt. Jim Varrone said at Monday’s press conference.
At 12:23 p.m. Sunday, gunfire broke out in the 500 block of Clay Street, where three men shot into an Acura and then ran from the area. The vehicle’s occupants were not injured but ran away from the scene. A nearby home was also damaged by gunfire. A third shooting was reported about an hour later in the 2300 block of South 17th Street, Varrone said. No injuries or property damage were reported in the shooting.
According to Varrone, some of the victims and suspects in the Castle Street shooting are validated gang members or have gang affiliation.
After the shooting that killed Simpson on Castle Street, community members gathered at the site of the gunfire Sunday evening for a candlelight vigil to remember the teen and speak out against violence. Shane Simpson’s father, Vern Ross, spoke about ending the violence that took his son’s life. Simpson lived on 11th Street just south of Castle and attended New Hanover High School.
“He was a good kid – he had a good mother, a good upbringing, was a good student,” Ross said. “He just got caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.”