Victim identified in fatal drive-by shooting

Published 4:35 pm Friday, October 14, 2022

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LEWISTON WOODVILLE – An Aulander man is dead and local law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for a suspect vehicle after shots were fired along an isolated stretch of NC 11 in Bertie County late Thursday afternoon.

Tony L. Harrell, age 32, was identified as the victim, according to Bertie Sheriff John Holley.

The Sheriff said the incident occurred around 4:15 p.m. approximately 1.5 miles north of the J.J. “Monk” Harrington bridge over the Roanoke River.

“It’s a drive-by shooting,” Holley said. “We have another motorist who said they witnessed shots being fired from one vehicle in the direction of another vehicle.”

Holley added that both vehicles were traveling north on NC 11 in the direction of Lewiston Woodville.

“The victim’s vehicle left the roadway, crossed a ditch, and overturned in a cotton field,” Holley said, adding that Harrell died at the scene.

“The eyewitness reported that the shots were fired from a small, white truck – possibly an extended cab or quad cab – with Florida [license] plates,” Holley stated, adding that law enforcement agencies in neighboring counties were alerted to that vehicle description.

The Sheriff stated that the eyewitness said they didn’t see any type of “road rage” altercation between the two drivers prior to the shots being fired.

“They weren’t passing each other back-and-forth or speeding up / slowing down on purpose, according to the witness,” Holley noted. “So that kind’a basically ruled out road rage.”

The Sheriff said at this point it’s too early to determine whether the shooting was random or targeted.

“We’re still investigating all angles and, of course, we’ll be able to learn a lot more once we find out who was driving the suspect vehicle,” Holley stressed.

Holley said the North Carolina SBI was called to the scene to assist the Bertie Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.

NC 11 was closed to thru traffic between its intersection with NC 903 in Martin County and its intersection with NC 308 at Lewiston Woodville while investigators were at the scene.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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