Posted: 12:25 p.m. Saturday, June 1, 2013

Police: Teenager accused in fatal double shooting in Gastonia

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By Catherine Bilkey


Police have identified the teenager accused of a double slaying in Gastonia near Titman and New Hope roads. He's behind bars being held without bond.

Michael Walters, 18, is accused of taking the lives of Mike Rice and Jerry Richardson. Both men were 24.

IMAGES: Police say 2 shot, killed in Gastonia

Eyewitness News spoke with friends of Rice who described him as a kind man.

"I'm going to miss Mike," family friend Tracy Neal said. "I am."

"Mike was a good family man," Robert Derr said of his friend.

The friends couldn't say why Rice and Richardson were at Walters' home and police aren't talking about that either. They did say that the two men were found in a car. They had already died before police got to the scene. Investigators interviewed Walters on Friday night before they charged him. They believe he shot both the victims and multiple shots were fired.

"The man shot him," Derr said. "That's all that I really know."

Rice's friends talked about what a loving father he was.

"It really hurts right now," Neal said.

They want to be there for his child now.

Eyewitness News went back to the home where all of the violence happened Saturday and reached out to the accused shooter's family. A neighbor told Channel 9 off camera that Walters was a really nice guy, but now he's behind bars, facing two counts of first-degree murder.

Walters is expected in court on Monday. He's being held without bond.

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