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Man, 23, is charged with murder of seven-year-old after he 'opened fire on mother's car during road rage incident'

 Police have arrested a man in connection with the death of a seven-year-old following an alleged road rage incident in North Carolina.

Douglas Mason Wilson, 23, of Claremont was arrested and charged over the death of Zakylen Greylen Harris.

Officers responded to a 911 call Wednesday night about a shooting into a vehicle arrived to find Harris with a gunshot wound to his neck.

The single shot shattered the back window of the car Harris' mother was driving.Harris was later pronounced dead in hospital. 

Wilson was arrested on Thursday night at a Crowne Plaza Hotel on an unrelated charge, but was charged with first-degree murder in Harris' death after interviewing with the police. 


Police announced the charges on Friday, crediting officers for the arrest, as well as the public for their help in leading police to the suspect.

Police have not confirmed a motive for the shooting, though Zakylen's mother told police she believed it was road rage after she accidentally cut off a car behind her.

She said she did not know the people in the vehicle Wilson was allegedly in.

Video released by the police department appears to show the moment the possible road rage incident began after the victim's vehicle accidentally cut off the suspect's vehicle

Video released by the police department appears to show the moment the possible road rage incident began after the victim's vehicle accidentally cut off the suspect's vehicle

Video released by the Hickory Police Department appears to show the vehicles side-by-side

Video released by the Hickory Police Department appears to show the vehicles side-by-side


The incident unfolded after dispatchers received a call just after 11pm on Wednesday night.

Surveillance video shows the moment the victim's vehicle turns on to Tate Boulevard and moves into the left lane.

The vehicle then switches into the right lane, directly in front of the suspect's vehicle. 

Zakylen's mother told police that after turning her blinker on, she accidentally cut off another vehicle as it approached.

The mother then told police that the other vehicle pulled up and a woman in the passenger seat yelled something at the mother. 

Authorities said only that a white female with blonde hair may have been sitting in the front passenger seat of the SUV. 

Zakylen Greylen Harris, who was just seven-years-old, was shot in the neck and killed

Zakylen Greylen Harris, who was just seven-years-old, was shot in the neck and killed

Zakylen's mother didn't hear the gunshot, she told police, but saw a muzzle flash and her broken back window before calling 911 after realizing Zakylen had been shot.  

Harris was found with a gunshot to the neck. He later died at Catawba Valley Medical Center.

Harris' brothers, 6 and 1, who were also in the car escaped without injuries.

The chief of police referred to the shooter as a coward during a Thursday news conference, according to WSOC-TV.

'This is a senseless act of violence, there is no excuse for this,' Hickory Police Chief Thurman Whisnant said before the arrest. 'I can tell you this, that the men and women of the Hickory Police Department will work tirelessly to see that justice is brought to the coward who did this.'

Police were seen using a metal detector at the crime scene on Thursday to look for the shell casing. It remains unclear how police landed on Wilson as their suspect. 

Zakylen's family is distraught in the aftermath of his murder. 

Police give update on shooting that killed 7-year-old
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'It's absolutely devastating because he will not see a high school graduation, prom ... he won't go to college,' said Tiffany Gray, Zakylen's aunt. 'He could have been a doctor, astronaut who knows the sky was the limit.'

Southwest Primary, where Zakylen attended school, brought in extra counselors to help students and staff deal with the unexpected tragedy.

'This young boy, we consider him one of our babies, and he is an innocent child,' said Beverly Snowden, who works for Hickory Public Schools.

'The loss of a child is probably the most horrific thing we can ever hear in our journey in life.' 

Holly Gooch, whose son was in Zakylen's second-grade class, also mourned the loss of the seven-year-old boy.

'It's sad, it's very sad. Especially when you have someone who is the same age,' Gooch said. 'My heart breaks for the mom and you want to hug your baby closer.'

Authorities have not released a motive for the shooting, but they have recovered grainy footage from the scene. In the video, the victim's vehicle is seen turning at an intersection

Authorities have not released a motive for the shooting, but they have recovered grainy footage from the scene. In the video, the victim's vehicle is seen turning at an intersection

The suspect's car (right) is then seen chasing down the vehicle the victim was riding in before the shooting

The suspect's car (right) is then seen chasing down the vehicle the victim was riding in before the shooting

A GoFundMe set up by Zakylen's aunt has raised over $7,500 towards funeral and memorial expenses. 

During a court appearance on Friday, Wilson shared that he has a felony probation hearing in Tennessee scheduled for May.

According to WBTV, Wilson also spent part of the hearing making faces at reporters after having his request for media cameras to be removed denied by the judge.

Harris' family was not in the courtroom during the hearing.

The Hickory Daily Record reports Wilson has also been charged with marijuana possession.

Wilson is being held without bond due to the murder charge. His next court appearance in the case is scheduled for May 13.

3 comments:

  1. Question ?
    Why no picture of Douglas Mason Wilson ?
    Seen picture of the little victim, but not the perp ??
    Why ?? Objection maybe from Buy Large Manors ??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Trying to get sympathy by saying he won't graduate or go to a prom. Give me a break! Not everyone goes to the prom. I certainly didn't. And there is no evidence to support he would have gone to college. If he did it would be about 20 nyears from now and who knows what this world will look like then. He'd probably join a gang and shoot someone. No one can say how his life would have gone if he didn't get shot. Maybe something else would have killed him before he got to be 18. Maybe another black. They do like to kill each other. Road rage can be eliminated if these inconsiderate drivers were more considerate of others on the road. One of my pet peeves is when there's a red light and you have at least 2 lanes. The left lane is empty, no vehicles and some SOB parks in the right lane to go straight. This blocks anyone that wants to turn right on red, making them wait 2 minutes for a damn red light because of some inconsiderate asshole. A asshole I work with did this too me right after work. I asked him the next day to be a little more considerate of others on the road and he said he wasn't going to change his driving habits so talking to these assholes does no good. Going 35 in a 60 also creates road rage. People always blame the guy that gets mad but they never look at the reasons for it. However shooting someone is going overboard but I do understand it..

    ReplyDelete
  3. They can't show too many booking photos of black perps or the narrative of them all being non-violent victims of white supremacists goes out the window.

    ReplyDelete