STATESVILLE, N.C. - A man has been arrested after an investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies into four shootings in Statesville during the past week, officials with the Statesville police said Saturday.
Statesville Police Chief Joe Barone said that since Tuesday, his department has been working together with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, the Davie County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the string of crimes.
Authorities said the multi-agency partnership led to the arrest of Enrico Dewoine Heggins by Davie County deputies Friday, which Barone said was “extremely significant” to the investigation of the Statesville shootings.
“Davie County did an awesome job in this case, and their efforts have provided us with a tremendous amount of leads in our investigation,” Barone said.
Officials said the cases under investigation by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office and the Statesville Police Department include a deadly shooting Jan. 6 on Hickory Avenue and a shooting Jan. 9 on Caldwell Street that injured three people, including a 9-year-old, Shakeya Jones, who had multiple surgeries.
Shakeya Jones, 9-years-old, was shot in the foot and shoulder.
Her family said she is a living miracle.
"She has been the bravest little girl that I know,” family member Shilanda Stockton said.
Bullets blasted through her home on Jan. 9 on Caldwell Street in Statesville while she was sleeping, hitting two other family members, including her father.
"The last surgery, they were going to cut her leg and take a nerve from her leg, but they didn't have to,” Stockton said.
Stockton said Jones’ father was shot in the head as he fought to save her.
"He just grabbed her as bullets were flying, and took off,” Stockton said. “He was running as bullets were flying, and one bullet went through his ear and it got stuck on the side of his head."
Statesville police said it was one of several shootings that happened in and around the city within days that they believe are connected.
Freeman Wells was killed Jan. 6 in a shooting on Hickory Avenue.
Jones’ family is hoping Heggins' arrest will help wipe out the violence that's been plaguing their community.
"People don't understand until it knocks at their doorstep,” Stockton said.
Authorities said there were two other shootings Jan. 9 -- one at the intersection of Alexander Street and Race Street, and one outside the city on Rita Avenue – as well as a shooting last week on Reynolda Drive, police said. There were no injuries involved in any of those shootings, police said.
Barone said that after Tuesday’s shooting on Caldwell Street, he requested that the SBI and the ATF send investigators to assist with the case.
“They were here within hours," Barone said. "And their investigators and equipment have been invaluable to this process. Together, with the Iredell and Davie County Sheriff’s Departments, we have interviewed dozens of witnesses and residents, collected dozens of pieces of evidence, and spent countless hours reviewing all the information we’ve gathered thus far. It truly has been a collaboration of efforts to solve these crimes.”
Barone said many leads came from Davie County’s investigation and the arrest of Heggins.
“The necessary and appropriate investigative resources are being utilized thoroughly and professionally with the intent of making cases that can be prosecuted successfully,” Barone said. “We are taking each case, gathering the evidence, comparing it, sending off to labs what needs to be analyzed and linking the evidence to the different crimes. We believe that they are connected and will be solved."
Even with all the law enforcement resources, Barone said that the most important partners to the police are the citizens.
“We need people to talk to us about what they may have seen or know about these shootings. Much of our community is demanding that the cycle of violence stop in our city. But we can’t do that unless we have the cooperation of our citizens,” Barone said.
Barone said he encourages citizens to report if they see something suspicious or share knowledge about the recent shootings by calling Crime Stoppers (704-662-1340), the Statesville police (704-878-3406), or the SBI (828-294-2226). There is a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and the caller may remain anonymous.
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