EDENTON — A 9-year-old Edenton girl was shot to death and her mother injured Friday night in an incident the Chowan County sheriff described as a “senseless” act of violence.
Sheriff Dwayne Goodwin said Makiia Slade and her mother, Shatory Hunter Slade, were shot by someone in a passing vehicle as they were traveling in their vehicle on U.S. Highway 17 South near the West Queen Street interchange.
Goodwin said Chowan deputies responded to a reported shooting near Lynnhaven Trailer Park around 10:30 p.m. Friday. When deputies arrived, they found Shatory and Makiia Slade in a vehicle and both had been shot.
Makiia Slade died from her injuries, Goodwin said. Shatory Slade was transported to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where she was in fair condition on Monday, according to Vidant Health spokesman Brian Wudkwych.
Deputies also learned the shooting happened in the southbound lanes of U.S. 17 near the West Queen Street interchange.
According to Goodwin, Shatory Slade drove her vehicle about a half-mile to the mobile home park after the shooting. He believes the Slades have family who live in the park.
Goodwin said investigators don’t know if the mother and daughter were targeted in the shooting.
“That’s what we’re trying to piece together right now,” he said, noting the State Bureau of Investigation has joined the probe. “We don’t know if this was that or someone randomly shooting as they rode down the highway.”
Goodwin said Slade has been interviewed by investigators but she doesn’t know if she and her daughter were targeted. She also hasn’t been able to give investigators a description of the vehicle occupied by her and her daughter’s assailant.
“She has no idea why this happened,” he said.
Goodwin described the entire incident as “senseless.” He agreed the reasons for most fatal shootings are hard to understand, but even more so when children are involved.
“A 9-year-old child doesn’t have anything to do with anything,” he said.
Investigators have recovered evidence from the scene of the shooting but Goodwin declined to describe the nature of that evidence.
“We are gathering a lot of information,” he said. “We’re running down every tip we get.”
Based on one of those tips, investigators initially identified a “vehicle of interest” in the shooting. However, the vehicle has since been “found and cleared” and is no longer considered connected to the shooting, Goodwin said.
Goodwin’s office and the SBI are asking anyone traveling near U.S. 17 and West Queen Street between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday to call the Chowan Sheriff’s Office at 252-482-8484 or the SBI at 919-662-4500.