Two shot in family squabble

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2003

RICH SQUARE – Two family members are recovering from gunshot wounds while another is behind bars in the wake of an alleged domestic squabble here Tuesday afternoon.

Rich Square Police Chief A.B. Roye said he received a call at approximately 2 p.m. in regards to someone being shot on Drew Ave. Upon his arrival, he found 17-year-old McArthur Smith shot in the right arm and Ora Whitehead, 53, with a gunshot wound in her left arm.

The gunman, Willie Whitehead Jr., 63, of the same Drew Ave. address, was immediately taken into custody, without incident, at the crime scene. He was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by inflicting serious bodily injury and one count of assault with a deadly weapon by inflicting serious bodily injury.

W. Whitehead – the uncle of Smith and the brother of O. Whitehead – was transported to the Northampton County Jail in Jackson where he is being held under a $50,000 bond.

&uot;Apparently, an argument broke out between the family members,&uot; stated Chief Roye. &uot;Mr. Whitehead apparently pulled out a .32 caliber weapon and shot Mr. Smith in the right arm. The bullet passed clean through Mr. Smith’s arm and struck Ms. Whitehead in the left arm. Ms. Whitehead was standing behind Mr. Smith when the shot was fired.&uot;

Roye reported that Ms. Whitehead, with the bullet lodged in her arm, was taken to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie and later transported to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville where she underwent surgery later on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a spokesperson at Pitt Memorial said that O. Whitehead was in fair condition.

Smith was also taken to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital where he was treated and released on Tuesday.

Roye recovered the .32 caliber weapon at the residence and seized it for evidence.

&uot;This is the first violent crime I’ve had here in Rich Square since becoming chief two years ago,&uot; noted Roye.