04/27/07 — Funeral ends with girlfriend's murder

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Funeral ends with girlfriend's murder

By Lee Williams
Published in News on April 27, 2007 1:45 PM

As hundreds of spectators poured out of the McIntyre Funeral Home on South George Street Thursday, they heard gunshots.

Minutes later, one of the mourners -- the deceased's girlfriend -- was dead.

Family and friends of 23-year-old Raheim Kornegay of Olivia Lane, who died this past Sunday from a gunshot wound, were headed to their cars at about 12:30 p.m. after his memorial service.

At the same time, an unknown assailant walked up to a vehicle that was parked nearby at Shepherd Electric Supply Co. and opened fire.

Inside the car was Sharon Nichole Sheppard, 28, of 602 Courtyard Circle, who was called a "person of interest" in the Kornegay case and was allegedly his girlfriend.

She was shot an estimated seven times, officials said.

The gunman and another man then speeded away.

Funeral home director Bishop D.L. McIntyre said he didn't see what happened, but added he was jarred by the sound of gunshots that rang out across the street from his business.

"We are lost," he said. "I really don't know anything. All I know is that I was playing the piano and some gunshots went off."

"This is the first time I've experienced anything like this," said McIntyre. "My nerves are shot."

Ms. Sheppard was taken to the Goldsboro Fire Department Headquarters Station on Center Street. As she was placed on the front lawn, firefighters and other emergency crews rushed over to treat her.

She was transported by Wayne County Emergency Medical Services to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

The news of Ms. Sheppard's death drew a large crowd to the hospital's waiting room. Some family members were overcome with emotion after learning she had died.

"Her friends and her family were traumatized over hearing about her death," a hospital spokeswoman said. "There weren't any opposing sides or anything like that."

The crowd had swelled so much that some of Ms. Sheppard's family members were asked to leave the waiting room by police, she said.

The incident that led to Thursday's murder started Sunday after Kornegay was shot once in the chest at Ms. Sheppard's home at about 3:22 p.m.

Kornegay, a father of six, was not alone at the time of the shooting, police said.

"Sheppard was present at the time of the shooting and was being interviewed as a person of interest in the death of Mr. Kornegay," Goldsboro Police Department spokesman Sgt. Chad Calloway said.

Sources at the crime scene Thursday said Ms. Sheppard's presence at the funeral angered some who attended the service.

Several police officers, investigators and a K-9 officer swarmed the scene after the shooting to search for the suspects. Some investigators collected evidence and took photographs while others canvassed the sea of spectators for witnesses. However, no one gave a description of the suspects or the vehicle they might have been traveling in, police said.

Earlier reports described the suspects as two black men in dark-colored clothing.

Calloway asked residents with information about the shooting are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 735-2255 or Investigator Dwayne Bevell at 580-4218. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is given for information that leads to a felony arrest.

Thursday's shooting was the second fatal shooting in the city and the third fatal shooting in Wayne County in four days. It also marked the ninth murder of the year.

Police said they do not believe the shooting was gang-related, despite some rumors to that effect.