• Judge denies bond for suspect in Hunter Huss High student killing

    By: Ken Lemon


    GASTONIA, N.C. - The man accused of killing a former Hunter Huss High School student faced a judge Wednesday afternoon.

    Police expect more arrests in the shooting death of a Gastonia high school student.

    The suspect, Taikeem Littlejohn, 18, has been in trouble before, convicted of assault and larceny twice.

    And he was out on bond for robbery with a deadly weapon when police said he shot and killed Brandon McCall on Saturday night.

    Channel 9 was there when Littlejohn walked into court with his hands shackled and told the judge he would hire his own attorney and then asked what he could do to get out on bond.

    The judge denied him bond.

    The district attorney said he will sign the indictment Wednesday.

    "It will go to the grand jury next hearing," said Locke Bell, the district attorney. "It should be next week."

    A detective told jurors police believe McCall was killed during a drug deal.

    McCall has a history of drug charges.

    Police said Littlejohn fired a shot into McCall's car Saturday night and the 17-year-old managed to drive a couple of blocks before hitting another car on Garrison Boulevard.

    Betty Rhyne said she held McCall as he took his last breath.

    A memorial for McCall is at her front door where he died.

    "I just want to cry sometimes," Rhyne said.

    She said she is happy police made an arrest.

    "I feel safer now, a little bit," Rhyne said.

    Police said they are still looking for more people who may have been involved in the shooting.

    "We still have more people we have to find and talk to to wrap up some loose ends," said Sgt. Jimmy Arndt with the Gastonia Police Department.

    There were two passengers in the car with McCall when he was shot and police said they have been cooperative during the investigation.

    Vigils held for McCall

    There were two vigils held for McCall Tuesday night. There was a growing memorial where McCall crashed.

    He was set to graduate in the spring.

    Friends of the teen told Channel 9 his death makes them put life into perspective.

    "How easy someone's life can be taken. It's unreal. This world is getting too cold," said a friend of the victim.

    Littlejohn is also charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection to a separate crime that happened in October in Cleveland County.

    His court appearance for that charge will take place Friday.

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