Ahoskie apartment riddled with bullets

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007

AHOSKIE – The Ahoskie Police Department is seeking an Elizabeth City teenager in connection with an incident here Tuesday night that left a Catherine Street apartment full of bullet holes.

Nathaniel Graham, 18, is wanted for questioning in the case. Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said he considers Graham “as an extremely dangerous individual that may be heavily armed.”

“I would highly recommend to any law enforcement agency not to attempt to approach this young man alone,” Fitzhugh said.

According to Fitzhugh, there is an order of arrest for Graham by the Edenton Police Department on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Graham was developed as a suspect in the Ahoskie shooting after local police officers launched their investigation into Tuesday night’s shooting. Fitzhugh said his office received a call around 10 p.m. in regards to gunshots in the area of Richard Street Park. Responding officers found the incident occurred in the 400 block of North Catherine Street.

There, according to Fitzhugh, a male subject was sitting on the porch of an apartment at which time he heard a quick burst of gunshots, apparently fired in his direction.

“The apparent victim ran for cover, and rightly so,” Fitzhugh said. “My officers discovered multiple bullet holes in the apartment as well as other evidence.”

Further investigation led Ahoskie Police to the apparent target of the gunfire. He was interviewed and the information gained allowed investigators to label Graham as a possible suspect. That information also provided Ahoskie Police with a tip that Graham may be residing on Hill Street.

In the meantime, Fitzhugh began working with Edenton Police on the case.

“Based on the description we had on our end and the information the Edenton Police Department had on their end, we were able to determine we were looking for the same suspect,” Fitzhugh said.

According to the Chowan Herald in Edenton, Graham is wanted in connection with an April shooting in that town, one leaving a victim hospitalized at Pitt Memorial in Greenville.

Graham is a known Bloods gang member in Elizabeth City, according to the Chowan Herald. That group apparently has an ongoing conflict against an Edenton gang known as the Crips. Edenton Police allege Graham shot Willie Cofield of Edenton and that it is possible Graham mistook Cofield for a Crip who had shot at him hours before. Cofield, shot four times in the neck, chest and shoulder, later identified Graham as his assailant.

Elizabeth City Police also want to question Graham about two other recent shootings in their town.

Lawmen have searched for Graham in homes in Edenton, Elizabeth City and Hertford.

With that information in mind, Fitzhugh opted to play it safe and summon additional manpower. On Wednesday night, Ahoskie Police were joined by the SBI, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Murfreesboro Police, Edenton Police and deputies with the Hertford, Gates and Chowan County Sheriff’s Offices in a search of the Hill Street area. That search did not produce Graham.

“We will continue to search for this young man,” Fitzhugh said, adding that the person responsible in this incident will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and damage to real property.

Graham is described as a 5’-9” black male weighing approximately 170 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes and has short, twisted plats/dreads in his hair. Graham has the word NATE tattooed on his left arm and the word NASTY on his lower right arm.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the Ahoskie Police Department at 332-5011.