HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man was charged Thursday in the slaying of a pregnant 18-year-old and her unborn child.
Hykeem Marquis Simmons, 21, was charged with first-degree murder in 18-year-old Anastaista Ray’s death, news outlets reported. High Point police found Ray, described as seven- to eight-months pregnant, shot in the head Monday night. Her 32-year-old brother, Corey, also was found wounded.
Police announced Tuesday that the shooting may have been gang-related. Simmons was arrested that same day on charges including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and investigators said they were familiar with Simmons’ previous gang affiliation.
Investigators also charged Simmons with assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury on Corey Ray. It’s unclear if Simmons has a lawyer.
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The High Point Enterprise reports police responding to a shooting Thursday morning that killed a 61-year-old woman heard what sounded like dozens of gunshots coming from the city’s south side.
Responding officers found a 15-year-old girl shot in the foot and more than 60 shell casings dotting the area. The girl was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The recovered shell casings varied in size and included 9 mm and .223-caliber rounds.
Police said that shooting may be retaliation for Ray’s killing. A gang in High Point’s Burns Hill neighborhood and another gang in the Southside community have been fighting for years, said Ken Shultz, the city’s police chief.