Police have identified the suspect in the shooting of two women Friday evening as a 21-year-old Rockingham man with a criminal history.
Authorities allege that Taquan Taheem McDonald, of Rabbit Hair Road, was arrested at Gardenwood Apartments — the same complex at which two women were shot “multiple times.” A Rockingham Police Department news release indicates the shooting took place at about 4:38 p.m. A copy of the arrest report indicates McDonald was arrested at 5:19 p.m. only a few doors down from where the shooting took place.
Victims Melissa Taylor, 35, and Teresa Best, 31, both of Rockingham, were transported by FirstHealth EMS from the scene to landing zones established behind FirstHealth Memorial Hospital. From there, the victims were airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment. Police said both victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
A Carolinas Medical Center representative said Monday afternoon that both women were “in good condition.” The hospital declined to offer any other details.
McDonald has been charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflict serious injury, one felony county of discharging a barreled weapon or firearm into an occupied property and one felony county of possession of a firearm by a felon. Attorney Todd Scott has been appointed to represent McDonald on all charges except discharging a firearm into an occupied property.
According to online records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety, McDonald was previously convicted on felony drug charges in 2012 in Richmond County. He was convicted in December 2013 and had a two-year prison sentence while on probation. In February 2010, McDonald was convicted of receiving stolen goods three months earlier — the charge was a misdemeanor — and was sentenced to community service.
McDonald was transported to Richmond County Jail shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday and held on a secured bond of $201,000. He is scheduled to appear on March 13 in N.C. District Court in Rockingham. It is not yet known if McDonald has an attorney.
Det. Sgt. Donavan Young, of the Rockingham Police Department, indicated that witness and other sources’ statements that indicated a 7-year-old child also was wounded in the shooting were “absolutely not true.”
“There were no minors injured whatsoever,” Young shared in an email to The Daily Journal.