‘Stop the violence’: 20-year-old bystander killed in shooting at Hickory apartments

HICKORY, N.C. — Police have not made any arrests after a 20-year-old bystander was killed and another man was hurt in a shooting at a Catawba County apartment complex early Sunday.

It happened just before 2:30 a.m. at the Sunny Valley Apartments along 3rd Avenue SE in Hickory.

Homicide Hickory – On Sunday, September 27, 2020 at approximately 2:22 am, Hickory Police Officers responded to...

Posted by Hickory Police Department - Official on Sunday, September 27, 2020

Officers said they responded to the area after getting a 911 call saying someone had been shot. When they got to the apartment complex, police found 20-year-old Armstrong Seme suffering from several gunshot wounds.

Catawba County EMS took Seme to the hospital, where he later died.

A second gunshot victim was taken to the hospital by bystanders and treated for multiple gunshot wounds. He is in stable condition, according to Hickory police.

Witnesses told police three men wearing dark clothing and “COVID type face coverings” approached the second victim while he was outside the apartment complex. Officers said one of the men spoke with the victim before opening fire.

Seme, a bystander, was hit by several bullets as the suspect was shooting at the second victim, according to Hickory police.

According to witnesses, Seme was inside his apartment when someone fired several rounds. Channel 9′s Dave Faherty said he counted a half dozen rounds fired into the apartment.

Seme’s friends told Channel 9 Seme is originally from Haiti and just started a job in the Hickory area.

“That kid right there loved everybody,” friend Ken Reid said. “He would protect you, he would give you the shirt off his back. He would make sure you had food in your stomach. We all need to stop the violence and come together as one. Forget the guns.”

Authorities have not said what led up to the shooting, but it appears the suspect was familiar with the second gunshot victim and targeted him.

Police said they are also investigating three other shootings within 24 hours and just blocks from the Sunny Valley Apartments. According to police reports, a business, a car and a home were struck by gunfire in the span of an hour Sunday night. Officials said they can’t say if any of the shootings are connected at this time.

Officers said they plan on stepping up patrols in the area.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.