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Victim identified in Kinston teen murder, man charged

Victim identified in Kinston teen murder, man charged
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 9:18 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 5:08 PM EST
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - A man has been charged with fatally shooting one teenager and critically wounding two others.

Kinston police charged Malik Bryant, 24, of Kinston with an open count of murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Bryant is being held in the Lenoir County Detention Center under no bond.

The arrest warrant identifies the dead teen as 14-year-old Michael Mills.

Michael Mills | Malik Bryant
Michael Mills | Malik Bryant(Family provided photo/Kinston police)

Mills’ grandmother says her grandson was walking along Mitchell Street when he was shot and killed.

“He was 14 years old for 11 days... 11 days,” Annamarie Carr, Mills’ grandmother said.

Carr said Mills’ mom and sister were there when he took his last breath.

Police say a 13 and 17 year old were also hit by gunfire and are both in critical condition at Vidant Medical Center. A warrant identifies those victims as Aavonta Bethea and Izaah Foye.

Kinston police refused to release the names of the victims even though that is public record under North Carolina law.

Interim Police Chief Jenee Spencer cited a provision in the law that allows them to temporarily withhold names of victims, something Kinston police have never done in recent years.

Carr says the killer doesn’t know what they took away from her family.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should call Kinston police at 252-939-4020, Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444.

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