by: Tina Terry Updated:
MONROE - Police have released the name of a victim shot to death outside of a Monroe gas station on Friday. The victim is 26-year-old Necole Horne and he died at the hospital.
Surveillance video showed 22-year-old Christopher Thomas get out of his car and yell at Horne before grabbing a gun and shooting him. It happened in front of the Sunoco gas station on Franklin Street.
Video also showed Thomas running with a gun in his hand before the shooting and his attempt to escape with a 4-month-old baby in his car. Police now say that baby is his daughter.
Police said they are still investigating the motive behind the murder.
Friday night, Eyewitness News was there when Thomas was taken into custody. He wouldn't answer questions but police said he tried to escape from the shooting scene by speeding down Highway 74 and weaving in and out of traffic until he crashed, causing a four-car accident.
That's when police said they discovered he had a baby in his car.
The child was taken by the Department of Social Services and is doing OK.
Horne’s aunt came back to the gas station after hearing the news to get answers.
“It was shocking,” Margaret Dillingham said. “In broad open daylight and he just had a little baby not too long ago.”
She was surprised to hear the suspect also had a young child with him at the time of the shooting.
“You weren't even thinking about your own child when you did this,” Dillingham said.
She described Horne as a nice, respectful man.
Horne’s girlfriend Monica Reid also said he was a good man, and that he had just taken a job at Pilgrim's Pride, a chicken plant near Monroe. Reid said he was trying to provide for her and their 2-month-old baby. She believed he was in Monroe Friday to buy diapers and milk for the baby.
“I last talked to him that night before,” said Reid. “He texted and said he’d love us and he’d see us tomorrow.”
Thomas is in jail and has a first appearance in court on Monday morning. He has been charged with murder and child abuse, among other things.
To see the original story published yesterday, click here.