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Friend of couple killed in Richmond County: 'They didn't deserve it'

RICHMOND COUNTY, N.C. — A small memorial marks the spot where the Richmond County sheriff said a young married couple was found shot and killed inside a car, and their 10-month old son was discovered alive in the back seat.

A 911 call came in around 10:15 a.m. Sunday about a possible accident on Lee Thee Church Road, near the intersection of Haywood Cemetery Road outside of Ellerbe.

Deputies found a four-door car and discovered Joey Cassidy, 26, and Katie Cassidy, 23, shot and killed inside. The two were married.

The couple's 10-month old baby, Cole, was in the back seat, secured in a car seat, deputies said. The baby boy was taken to the hospital as a precaution. He is now with family members.

Investigators believe the baby was in the car for less than an hour after the shootings.

"Cole wasn't physically harmed, but come graduation, he's not going to have his mom and dad. Come prom, he's not going to have his mom and dad. So he was affected, even though not physically hurt, he was hurt. He's going to be hurt for the rest of his life," friend Tiffany Freeman said.

The small community is heartbroken and awaiting justice. No one knows why Joey and Katie were found dead inside their car.

"They didn't deserve it, out of all people," Freeman said.

Authorities haven’t determined yet if the two were shot and then crashed their car. The sheriff said there was no heavy damage to the vehicle, but the car came off the road and rested against a tree.

The sheriff said there is a person of interest in the case, but no arrests have been made.

"Is that person of interest still at large, or are they in custody?" anchor Liz Foster asked Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons.

"I'm not really willing to say at this point, other than we have a person of interest and we're still in the middle of the investigation," Clemmons said.

Anyone who was traveling in the area during that time should contact the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at 910-895-3232.

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