Man killed 19-year-old girlfriend, shot her family member, victim’s mother says

GASTONIA, N.C. — A man accused of killing his 19-year-old girlfriend and then shooting her mother’s fiancé this past weekend in Gastonia has been caught, police said Monday afternoon.

It happened on Saturday, when the Gastonia Police Department was called to a home on Dix Street. Police said there was a “domestic disturbance” before David V. McDowell III shot and killed his girlfriend.

The victim was identified on Monday as 19-year-old Zanayah White.

On Monday, White’s mother, Toya White, told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon that they recently had problems with McDowell, and she said McDowell got possessive over White.

Toya told Lemon that McDowell tried to take a phone from White, but when she wouldn’t give him the phone, he shot her in front of her 14-year-old sister.

“He took my baby, he took my baby,” Toya said.

According to Toya, her daughter had cut off her ties with McDowell. She said McDowell then wrote a rap song with threatening lyrics and posted it on YouTube with a picture of the two of them together.

Channel 9 reported on a second shooting that happened nearby around the same time as the shooting on Dix Street, and White’s mother confirmed that the victim in that shooting was her own fiancé.

According to White’s mother, she was going to run an errand with her fiancé, Keith Tate, when Tate said he left his phone at the home on Dix Street.

Tate went to the home and found White dead, and White’s mother said the suspect then shot Tate in the face. According to White’s mother, Tate fled from the house, got in a car and drove away before crashing on Adams Avenue.

“He left his phone and he went to go get it, and he never came back,” Toya told Lemon.

Paramedics found Tate on Adams Avenue and took him to the hospital.

White’s mother told Lemon that Tate is recovering as of Monday.

At about 3:30 p.m., police said that McDowell was taken into custody with the help of Kings Mountain police. He is facing a first-degree murder charge.

While McDowell was on the run, Toya was afraid that he would come back for her.

“He said he had a bullet for everybody that stayed in my house,” Toya said.

McDowell wrote a post on social media Monday morning claiming he did nothing wrong.

This is a developing story; check back at wsoctv.com for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Deadly shooting of Charlotte inn worker remains unsolved after 16 years)


Coleman Montgomery, wsoctv.com

Coleman is a photojournalist for Channel 9.

Susannah Will, wsoctv.com

Susannah is a content center producer for WSOC.

Comments on this article