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Jealousy claims man's life

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Orlando 'Ted' Flowers Sr.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday is supposed to be a time for sports fans, family and friends to gather together for the big game, but a Rocky Mount family will be remembering their loved one who was gunned down a year ago tonight.

Orlando “Ted” Flowers Sr. watched Super Bowl LI at a friend's house on Arlington Street. After the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, Ted finished his beer and left. He didn't get far.

The city's shot-spotter equipment activated at 10:30 p.m. and officers were dispatched to the area. They found Ted in the driver's seat of his car. The car door was open; Ted was riddled with bullets.

A bullet had entered and exited Ted's chest. Four other bullets had ripped through his lower body, shattering his pelvis and tearing apart his intestines and other organs.

Ted died in the ambulance on the way to Nash UNC Health Care. After several attempts at revival, emergency department doctors pronounced him dead at 11:21 p.m.

I spoke with Ted's sister Rosalind Bullock a week ago. Ted was 11 months older than her. She said they were close, like a left and right hand.

“He was no angel,” Rosalind told me.

Ted had convictions in the early 1990s for serious assault and having a firearm. He served his time many years ago and put that part of his life behind him. He was a technician at Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant at the time of his death.

“He was an all-around good guy,” Rosalind said. “Ted was always helping. Everyone loved him.”

Love may have gotten Ted killed. Detectives quickly developed the ex-boyfriend of Ted's girlfriend as a suspect. The three had known each other for years and a love triangle developed between them.

“My brother was killed by an ex-boyfriend who couldn't take the rejection of his ex-girlfriend,” Rosalind said.

Ted and the ex-boyfriend had a history of violent encounters: The ex-boyfriend shot at Ted on Drew Street in September 2016, got into a fight with Ted at a nightclub in November 2016 and rammed his vehicle in December 2016. Shot at him. Assaulted him. Crashed into him.

The ex-boyfriend runs with a documented gang affiliate, who came up together in the Howell Street neighborhood. They were convicted of stealing $4,000 in electronics, gaming equipment and jewelry from a Harrison Road home in 2009. They lived together on Tillery Street last year. I tried to reach them there last week, but no one answered the door. I left a note on a business card, but hadn't heard from either of them by presstime.

The ex-boyfriend had access to two vehicles last year. The gang-affiliate friend had two vehicles accessible to him at that time. But the night of the shooting, the ex-boyfriend borrowed a vehicle. Detectives believe the duo borrowed a vehicle instead of using one of the four vehicles they had access to so they would be less conspicuous in the Arlington Street neighborhood the night Ted died.

Three days before the shooting, Ted's girlfriend sent the ex-boyfriend a text message telling him she didn't want anything else to do with him.

It's not the first time I've seen text messages play a part in a murder case. A few years back I covered the trial of a Camp Lejeune Marine convicted of killing his girlfriend. She was going to leave him and he couldn't take it. So while they were eating dinner in a restaurant, he was texting his buddy to ask about a gun and lay out plans on how to kill her.

When the time come, her roommate got in the way and died, too. The Marine received two life sentences. I looked him up the other day. Since his incarceration in 2007, he's had 14 infractions including gang involvement, lock tampering, participating in a riot, possessing a weapon, committing a sex act and causing flooding. A real bad apple.

He was first in a wave of Camp Lejeune Marines killing their girlfriends, wives or mistresses. The most publicized of those crimes would happen in December 2007 when pregnant 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach disappeared. I remember thinking she had probably just run off to California. I was naive back then.

We'll pick up Maria's story next time. Meanwhile, if you know anything about Ted's death, contact law enforcement or Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.

Rosalind said she lights a candle for her brother every day.

“I love my brother so much; I miss him so much,” Rosalind said. “I just want this to end.”

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