HAMLET — Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a teenager accused of shooting a man in the hand when a Wednesday war of words turned violent.
Jacob Tray McKenzie, 17, of 506 Minturn Ave. in Hamlet, faces a felony assault charge after Richmond County deputies say he pulled out a handgun and shot Jamie Lee Ledwell near a home on Duncan Road just outside the Hamlet city limits.
“It appeared to be an argument that had started prior, and then they got in a fight,” sheriff’s Capt. Jay Childers said Thursday.
Paramedics took Ledwell to FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released. Deputies are seeking the public’s help to find McKenzie, who had not been taken into custody late Thursday.
“If anybody knows his whereabouts, we ask that they help us locate him,” Childers said.
Deputies obtained an arrest warrant for McKenzie on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The charge is a Class E felony carrying a presumptive sentence of 20 to 25 months in prison for an offender with no prior criminal convictions.
McKenzie has pending charges of felony breaking and entering, felony larceny after breaking or entering and felony possession of stolen goods in Richmond County, court records show. He has no history of convictions resulting in prison time or probation.
Deputies ask that anyone with information on McKenzie’s whereabouts call the Richmond County Sheriff’s office at 910-997-8283 or Crime Stoppers at 910-997-5454.
— Corey Friedman