Suspected La Grange gunman had killed two in Kinston back in 2010

LA GRANGE, LENOIR COUNTY (WITN) - One of the suspected gunmen in a botched robbery early Sunday that killed three and wounded another had killed two men in Kinston in 2010.

Jerrell Pridgen

Jerrell Pridgen, of Goldsboro, was killed in the shooting. He was just released from prison in June after pleading guilty to killing two Kinston men in separate shootings back in 2010.

Sheriff Ronnie Ingram says Pridgen was one of several gunmen who tried to rob a card game around 1:15 a.m. Sunday in an outbuilding on West Queen Street in La Grange.

Also killed were two men playing cards. They have been identified as John Johnson, Jr., of Sumter, South Carolina, and Roderick Gillette, of La Grange. A third person shot who survived is not being identified.

Ingram says Johnson was visiting family and was in control of the property where the shootings happened.

The sheriff says there is no evidence that any of the victims were armed.

"We are still working to find out if a struggle occurred or if the robbers just came in shooting," said Ingram. "We do know for sure that Pridgen was one of the suspects at the scene along with some others and their intention was robbing someone. He was armed with a gun, had something covering his face and demanded money from the victims."

Anyone with information on the other gunmen is urged to call the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office at 252-559-6118, or call Lenoir County Crimestoppers at 252-523-4444.


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Deputies say one of the gunmen was killed in a weekend shooting that took the lives of two other men and injured another.

Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram says deputies patrolling the area actually heard the gunshots minutes before the first 911 call to a outbuilding behind 308 West Queen Street in La Grange.

Ingram says they believe the shooting happened during a botched robbery attempt. He says it appears a group of people were in the building playing cards and multiple gunmen came in and demanded money.

The sheriff says one of the gunmen, Jerrell Pridgen, of Goldsboro, was killed. He said there is no evidence that any of the victims were armed.

"We are still working to find out if a struggle occurred or if the robbers just came in shooting," said Ingram. "We do know for sure that Pridgen was one of the suspects at the scene along with some others and their intention was robbing someone. He was armed with a gun, had something covering his face and demanded money from the victims."

Also killed were two men playing cards inside the outbuilding. They have been identified as John Johnson, Jr., of Sumter, South Carolina, and Roderick Gillette, of La Grange. A third person shot who survived is not being identified.

Ingram says Johnson, was visiting family and was in control of the property where the shootings happened.

Pridgen was no stranger to the criminal justice system. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to killing two Kinston men when he was a teenager in 2010. Pridgen was given credit for time already served and was released from prison in June for the two manslaughter convictions.

Anyone with information on the other gunmen is urged to call the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office at 252-559-6118, or call Lenoir County Crimestoppers at 252-523-4444.


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The Lenoir County Sheriff's Office is piecing together the events that lead up to a deadly shooting in La Grange early Sunday morning that killed three people and injured a fourth.

Lenoir County Deputies responded to a shots fired call on the 300 block of W. Queen Street around 1:15 a.m. just a block away from a church and a school.

"As you can see it's only about a block away from the church, and you've got older people here so this is not something where you look at and think, it's a younger crowd and you'd be expecting something like this," Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram said.

Deputies says they discovered four gunshot victims. Three of the four victims were pronounced dead at the scene. The fourth was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center and is reported to be in stable condition.

Officials say at the time of the shooting their were several other people also in the outbuilding who ran away from the scene.

"There was a number of people here at the time of the incident when the shooting started several of them scattered, so we're still interviewing and trying to find people," Ingram said.

While the Lenoir County Detectives and Crime Scene personnel are working to locate evidence, conduct interviews and develop leads, neighbors say they are shocked something like this happened in their neighborhood.

"About 30 minutes before we got in the house I heard the sirens go off, an I was like, 'dang ma that sounded it was close by.' And so I was outside smoking a cigarette and that's when the sirens stop. I was amazed, I mean like, it's really crazy around here," A neighbor who wanted to remain nameless said.

The Sheriff's Office is not releasing the names of the victims at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 252-559-6100 or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444.



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Three people are dead and one is injured after officials say a shooting broke out in an outbuilding early Sunday morning.

Lenoir County Deputies responded to the 300 block of W. Queen Street in La Grange around 1:15 a.m. for a shots fired call.

Deputies says they discovered an incident had taken place in an outbuilding and were able to locate four gunshot victims.

Three of the four victims were pronounced dead at the scene while the fourth was treated by Lenoir County EMS personnel then transported to the hospital for further treatment.

Lenoir County Detectives and Crime Scene personnel are working to locate evidence, conduct interviews and develop leads at this time.

Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram states, “our prayers go out to the victims’ families for their loss. We are in the beginning stages of this investigation. Our detectives are working to piece together information gathered at the scene.”

The sheriff's office is not releasing the names of the victims at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 252-559-6100 or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444.