Search continues for Best
By Gary Popp
Published in News on March 3, 2011 1:46 PM
News-Argus/MICHAEL K. DAKOTA
Flowers lie in an area that has been designated as a memorial spot on Day Circle for 3-year-old Princess Shelby King. The toddler was playing on a playground Sunday when she was struck by a stray bullet. Police are currently searching for a suspect in the case.
Goldsboro police are still asking for the public's help in locating a suspect in the shooting death of a 3-year-old girl on Day Circle.
Derrick Ramont Best, 29, is wanted for murder in the Sunday shooting that resulted in the death of Princess Shelby King.
Sgt. Dwayne Dean said Best, who has already been charged with attempted first-degree murder in a 2008 shooting, is used to hiding out.
"He is accustomed to blending in and lying low," Dean said.
Funeral services for Princess Shelby King were planned for today.
She apparently was caught in the line of fire when the shooting started after an alleged argument in the neighborhood about 3:30 p.m. A number of children were playing outside near the area where the shooting took place.
Police have repeatedly asked community members to come forward with any information on Best or the shooting, even if that information seems irrelevant.
"Even though we already have statements, it only makes the case stronger with additional cooperation. Let us make the determination if your information is not as good as you think it is," Dean said.
He said he knows there are people out there with information that would lead to Best's arrest. Investigators are hoping those people will step up.
"We don't know if it is loyalty or if people are scared of him," Dean said. "The majority of the calls we have received are through Crime Stoppers, and we encourage people to continue to use Crime Stoppers. We are always hopeful that the next call will be the one that tells us where he is at."
The investigation, which includes one investigator Dean said he has designated to work exclusively on the case, includes not only following up on phone tips, but some legwork as well.
"We are still interviewing eyewitnesses, and we have other people we are trying to identify to interview," Dean said.
Hours have turned into days in the effort to locate Best, but Dean is confident his team will eventually take Best into custody.
"I think it will be a matter of time because right now he is looking over his shoulder thinking, 'Is this the day they come and arrest me?'" Dean said.
Best has an extensive criminal history.
He is wanted on four warrants and is currently out of jail on four separate bonds.
Best also has served time in prison -- in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009.
He was charged with attempted first-degree murder in September 2008 and was arrested in January 2009. He was held in the Wayne County Jail until July 2009, when he posted a $100,000 bond.
Best was again taken into custody until March 24, 2010, by the Goldsboro police for simple possession of marijuana and resisting a public officer. At this time, he was turned over to the Wayne County Sheriff's Office on two child support warrants. Best paid the $650 in warrants and was again back on the streets.
On July 22, 2010, the sheriff's office again picked up Best on child support, but did not book him into the county jail.
In Aug. 18, 2010, he was charged with order for arrest for possession of a firearm by a felon and driving while license revoked. For the charges, Best was given a total $10,500 bond, which he posted the same day.
Between Dec. 24, 2010, and Jan. 1, 2011, a former girlfriend took out the following warrants against Best: misdemeanor larceny, two counts of assault on a female, misdemeanor breaking and entering, injury to real property. A criminal summons was issued by a second victim on Best for communicating threats.
On Dec. 29, 2010, Goldsboro police charged Best with the felonies of assault by strangulation, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and kidnapping.
Dean said police investigators have made capturing him their top priority.
"In my opinion, he knows what he has done, especially since Sunday, and what he needs to do is turn himself in and handle himself like a man," he said.