A murder at Dogwood Circle last month has gotten the attention of the Clinton City Council, which unanimously agreed Tuesday night to offer a sizable reward to see the case solved.
“We had an unfortunate incident at Dogwood Circle the other night. We are investigating that fully and we have a lot of leads,” Mayor Lew Starling said at the top of the Council meeting. “We’re not going to stop until the person or persons are in jail. I think we have determined that it may be in our best interest to issue a reward.”
Police Chief Jay Tilley further addressed the issue.
“The Neighborhood Improvement Team and the State Bureau of Investigation has been working pretty much every day and around the clock trying to see if they can get some leads to help solve this,” said Tilley. “The investigators came to me (Tuesday) morning and had a request they thought would be in the best interest of the case.”
That request was that a reward be offered in an attempt to solicit information in the case. Tilley requested $10,000. Clinton Mayor Lew Starling quickly upped that to $12,000.
Clinton Police stepped up patrols in an effort to increase safety in the area following the shooting, as they have sought any information that can assist in apprehending those responsible for the murder of Eric Tyrique Teachey, 27, shot at the Clinton housing complex June 19.
Teachey was found dead following the shooting at around 11 p.m. that Friday night in the area of Dogwood Circle. The Newton Grove man’s body was found between two apartments at the complex.
“We’ve gotten some leads but there’s still a long ways to go,” Tilley said in the wake of the shooting. “There were a lot of people outside the apartment complex so we know there were a lot of witnesses. We just need them to come forward.”
Teachey sustained a single gunshot wound, which entered his left arm and exited his chest, striking his heart along the way, Sampson County Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Barr said following the autopsy. Teachey had extensive internal bleeding. Dr. Barr said it appeared from the gunshot wound that he was running from the street between the two buildings when he was shot.
Tilley said investigators believe an altercation occurred between Teachey and one or more suspects in one of the apartment complexes and that the argument spilled outside. NIT officers and the State Bureau of Investigation initiated a probe into the homicide and NIT officers were on the scene Monday.
“There was some type of altercation in the apartment complex with one or more suspects. We’re not sure what prompted the altercation, but we responded to a call of shots fired,” Tilley said Monday.
Dogwood Circle is located off of Barden Street, which extends down to the Sampson Center gym on one end of Barden and busy Fayetteville Street on the other end, a stone’s throw from downtown Clinton and Sunset Avenue School. Since the homicide, patrols have been stepped up and the neighborhood canvassed for any information. That search for information and suspects has been ongoing.
City officials said it is there hope that a reward might be the catalyst for the right tip in the case.
“That is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible in the murder,” said Starling. “That is with no strings attached. We’re ready to do that.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 910-592-3105 or the CPD TIP line at 910-590-3009. Citizens may also provide information by the Police Department’s anonymous two-way texting service. This can be done by simply texting any information about the crime to 847411 beginning with the code word “tipcpd” followed by the message.
Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.