02/28/11 — Toddler killed in crossfire

View Archive

Toddler killed in crossfire

By Gary Popp
Published in News on February 28, 2011 1:46 PM

Full Size


Goldsboro police officer Michelle Warren and Wayne County Deputy Chuck Arnold are seen outside Courtyard Apartments Sunday afternoon after law enforcement responded to a shooting that left a 3-year-old girl dead.

Princess Shelby King

A 3-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet in a Day Circle housing community about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Law enforcement officers are looking for the alleged shooter, who has an extensive criminal record.

Princess Shelby King was one of several children playing on a playground at The Grand at Day Point in the 1800 block of Day Circle when she was struck by a bullet believed to have been fired by Derrick Raymont Best, 29.

Police say Princess was only 20 to 30 yards from the gunman when she was hit. She was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

No other injuries from the shooting were reported.

Best is believed to have retrieved the weapon that killed Princess from a nearby vehicle during an altercation with another man.

The shooter fired the weapon, which was described by investigators as a "long gun," several times. The girl was apparently struck unintentionally.

The gunman is believed to have fled the scene immediately after the shooting in a tan or champagne Ford Explorer, said Sgt. Dwayne Dean.

Police have obtained a warrant for the arrest of Best, charging him with an open count of murder.

Dean said Best is a familiar figure to lawmen. He has been charged 65 times for various offenses, Dean said, including charges related to weapons, drugs, assault, robbery and failure to pay child support.

Dean said locating Best is the police department's top priority.

Best is already under bond for an attempted first-degree murder charge and three counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property. The charges stem from an incident that occurred in September 2008.

Police warned that Best should be considered armed and dangerous. He is described as being 5-foot-11, about 200 pounds with tattoos on both arms and a scar on his right leg from a previous gunshot wound.

Investigators are asking anyone in the community with information on Best's whereabouts to contact lead Investigator C.A. Melvin at (919) 580-4212 or Crime Stoppers at 919-735-2255. People calling Crime Stoppers can give information while remaining anonymous.