Less than four years after a Rocky Mount family endured the death of one son, they are grieving the death of their second son after a Tuesday night shooting in front of their house.
Rocky Mount police said Jose Antonio Martinez, 17, was shot and killed by Johnathan Lamont Hargrove, 18, on the 200 block of Jackson Street. Warrants have been obtained for first-degree murder against Hargrove, but he has not been arrested.
“Investigators believe this act is related to a narcotics transaction that turned violent,” Cpl. Mike Lewis said in a press release.
Benjamin Gonzalez lives nearby and heard the two fateful shots around 10:45 p.m. and rushed out to help.
“We heard his (Martinez’s) girlfriend saying, ‘Why did you do this?’” Gonzalez recalled. “We tried CPR, but it didn’t work. Nothing worked.”
Gonzalez had seen the teen grow up after moving to the South Rocky Mount neighborhood from Honduras as a child. He said the Sept. 13, 2010, shooting of the victim’s elder brother, Francisco Aurelio Kelly, in Raleigh was hard on the entire family, but especially on Martinez.
Family members of Martinez said despite dropping out of school, the teen was pursuing his General Educational Development requirements while working at Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi. Martinez reportedly had just finished working and met up with his girlfriend of nearly three years at his house when he was shot.
“He was a nice guy with his mama,” a family member of Martinez said. “He was a good brother.”
The victim’s sisters from Virginia and Illinois will join extended family as they help his mother cope with the loss of her second son.
Anyone with information on Hargrove’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 977-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Text a tip to police at 274637 by beginning messages with RMPOL to direct the tip to the Rocky Mount Police Department and type up to 155 characters about the information.