Murder investigations continue

Published 10:27 am Monday, November 5, 2012

SEABOARD – Law enforcement officials here are continuing their investigations into two separate shootings that left two people dead.

According to Seaboard Police Chief George Reed, there have been no arrests yet in the slayings of 17-year-old Damon Riddick and 24-year-old Kelvin Wilson Branch. The murders occurred less than 48 hours apart last weekend.

“We are continuing to follow leads and interviewing people,” Reed said. “We do have some persons of interest.”

Reed said his department is also doing its part to reassure citizens of their safety.

Routine patrols by Seaboard Police and the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office have been increased in the area.

On the evening of Oct. 26 the first shooing occurred during an attempted home invasion at 307 Faison Street. Reed said his department responded to a 7:31 p.m. call in reference to a person being shot in the face.

Upon responding to the scene the officer made contact with the victim’s 21-year-old brother, Darrius Riddick, who informed the officer his brother had been shot.

Reed said the investigation showed an unknown person wearing a black hoodie and black bandanna over their face entered the home through the back door of the residence with a pistol-gripped sawed off shot gun. The suspect struggled with Damon Riddick before Riddick was shot in the face.

Meanwhile, Darrius Riddick was able to escape to the attic. Reed said Darrius Riddick was able to fire at the intruder before the suspect fled.

Damon was transported to Halifax Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The second shooting occurred Oct. 28 in an area known as the “Fox Hole” located between Highway 186 and Pine Street.

Reed said he was at the Police Department interviewing a person concerning Friday’s crime when he heard several gunshots.

After responding to scene and investigating, Reed discovered Branch’s body lying near the railroad tracks behind a residence off of Highway 186. He also observed another individual with an injury to his leg, later identified as Thomas C. Milton, 23, of Jersey City, NJ coming out of the wood line. Milton is a cousin of the victim and was visiting at the time.

Branch was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Milton was transported to a local hospital and then taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Reed said upon investigation it was discovered a number of individuals were waiting behind a storage barn as both men walked back from a local store.

Reed said the possible weapons used were shotguns and a handgun.

Reed said five to six individuals wearing black hoodies and black bandanas seen running after the shooting, There was also a black Pathfinder seen leaving the scene and a BOLO (be on the look out) was issued for the vehicle.

In the deluge of bullets, approximately five homes on Pine Street were struck by bullets during the shooting. No one was injured.

The SBI is assisting in the case as well as the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson, Garysburg, Woodland, Enfield, and Weldon police departments.

Those with information concerning the two murders are urged to called Reed at the Seaboard Police Department at 589-5061 or 578-7322. The Northampton County Crime Stoppers line can also be contacted at 534-1110.