• $1,000 reward offered in Lincolnton's first homicide since 2014

    By: DaShawn Brown


    LINCOLNTON, N.C. - A $1,000 reward is now being offered for information in Lincolnton's first homicide case in four years.

    Officers found Johnny Ray Izard Jr. lying in the road on Newbold Street with a gunshot wound just before midnight last Friday. He was taken to CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia, where he was pronounced dead.

    Izard's slaying is Lincolnton's first homicide since March 2014.

    Vickie Patterson, who has lived at the same house in the neighborhood for more than 30 years, said Friday night was one of her worst.

    “I was on the couch watching TV and I heard the shots say, ‘Bang, bang, bang,’” she said.

    Patterson told Channel 9 that bullets struck two cars, and shattered a window of one, in her driveway across the street.

    “We didn't know my car was hit,” Patterson said. “I said, “Oh my God.’ We just thank God that wasn't nobody out here.”

    (Johnny Izard Jr./photo courtesy of family members)

    Friends told Channel 9 that Izard was the father of two small children, ages 3 and 4.

    “So not only did you take a man from the streets, you took a father from two kids,” friend Heiydia McLean said.

    Izard’s cousin, Shantae Sowell, said she was inside the house when he was killed.

    “I seen two people standing around him and yelling to call 911 for help. He had been shot and he was lying in the road,” said Shantae Sowell, the victim’s cousin.

    Patterson said neighbors have been begging for help for years

    “We've been complaining about this shooting going on,” she said. “We just want the police to come out here and keep a check on this community, and when we call and something happened, come out.”

    Neighbors told Channel 9 they tried to help Izard while they waited for emergency medical services personnel to get there.

    Police are asking anyone that has information on the shooting to contact Detective Brandon Hunsucker at 704-736-8900 or Crime Stoppers of Lincolnton-Lincoln County at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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