The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office continues investigating the killing of 19-year-old Quincy Mills as his family mourns the tragic loss.
On May 12, law enforcement responded to a call at Evans Farm Road on the outskirts of Hollister, where Mills was located inside of his vehicle dead.
Lt. C. Shane Guyant, public information officer for HCSO, said on Wednesday that Mills was shot but declined to divulge any further details regarding the incident. However, Guyant said that the sheriff’s office has developed a suspect of interest.
“The sheriff’s office has received several tips on suspects of interest, and we’re following up on those tips,” he said.
Walter Mills, Quincy’s father, spoke with the Herald Thursday.
Walter said he and his son were home when Quincy said he was heading out for a bit and would return, leaving a woman he was talking with inside. He said it had been a while, and his son had not returned. Walter said the woman asked him if he had heard from Quincy and that she had been trying to call him, and the phone would go to voicemail.
He said he called and texted his son with no success either. Walter said he asked the woman where his son was headed, to which she said to Evans Farm Road.
“All I know is, he just left — he said, ‘Pops, I’ll be back in a little bit.’ And like I said, he never came back home,” he said.
Walter said he left his home to go to Evans Farm Road and pulled up into the yard of a house where he found his son’s vehicle. He said he blew his car horn to indicate his presence, but nobody came out of the home. Walter said he got out of his vehicle and began walking toward the house to knock until he saw his son slumped over in the back seat.
He said he opened the car door and tried to get a response from his son, and checked his pulse. Walter said there was no pulse, and that was when he went back to his car to call 911.
“They didn’t have to take my son’s life like that — he was a good kid,” he said.
Walter said nobody in the area had anything bad to say about his son, and everyone knew and loved him.
“He was a good kid and wasn’t a troublemaker,” he said. “He just had the biggest, brightest smile. Whoever did it, I wish they would come forward because my son didn’t deserve this. Nobody deserved this, to be left out there like that — just left there like you’re nothing.”
Walter said his family is trying to hold everything together.
“I’m trying to stay strong,” he said. “Me and my mother raised him since he was a little boy, and she’s taking it hard. We’re a tight family, so all of us are taking it hard. They’re talking about his funeral arrangements, and we can’t get those straightened out because they haven’t done his autopsy yet.”
Walter reiterated that his son was a good kid and loved everybody.
“He didn’t bother nobody, and he’d give anybody anything he could if he had it,” he said.
On Friday, Lt. Guyant said the sheriff’s office is awaiting more evidence in the hopes for stronger leads.
Anyone with any information regarding the incidents can submit anonymously by calling Halifax County Crime Stoppers at 252-583-4444 or through the website at halifaxcountycrimestoppers.org and then clicking on submit a tip, and entering the information.
ROANOKE RAPIDS — A yellow pedestrian crossing sign on Roanoke Avenue has mysteriously ended up on the ground multiple times with no clear answer.
The sign in question is located in front of 1026 Roanoke Ave. at the mid-block crosswalk with stamped brick with another crossing sign on the other side. However, on more than one occasion, the Herald has noticed the yellow crossing sign in front of the Urban Green Space on the ground and other times being installed again.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation maintains NC Highway 48, which Roanoke Avenue lies on. The Herald reached out to NCDOT for answers on why that particular sign keeps ending up on the ground.
On April 27, Public Relations Officer Andrew Barksdale with NCDOT said the agency was not aware that the sign was damaged or knocked down before, but there should be no reason it is coming down.
“We don’t know why they have been struck,” he said. “They are far enough away from the travel lanes that they should not be getting hit by passing traffic or even trucks with large side mirrors. That being said, it’s possible that one of the signs may have been accidentally damaged, either by a car wreck or maintenance being done in the area — we don’t know. This is the first we’ve heard that the sign is damaged. We absolutely will go out there and fix any damaged sign like this on Roanoke Avenue.”
On Monday, the pedestrian crossing sign was re-installed again, and the NCDOT employee working the job said he slaps a sticker on the back of the sign each time he puts it up. The sign has four stickers on the back.
The Herald followed up with NCDOT on the matter.
Barksdale said the repairs to the sign cost $150 each time.
“If there is an accident report that damaged the sign, we typically bill the auto insurance company of the motorist who was at fault in the crash,” he said. “Otherwise, we just absorb this cost within our existing budget for highway maintenance.”
When asked about any theories on why that particular sign ended up on the ground on more than one occasion, Barksdale said his agency researched further and came up with a theory.
“We think we know what’s going on,” he said. “First of all, we absolutely concluded that this is not being struck by an overwide vehicle. The post is not bent, the post is not damaged, the post itself is perfectly fine.”
Barksdale said the other sign on the other side is the same distance from the road as the sign in question but is not dealing with the same issue, which would indicate that vehicles are not damaging the sign.
“So it is not a vehicle coming through with a boom or an arm or super wide,” he said.
Barksdale said the particular crossing signs are mounted into the sidewalk with three bolts instead of being installed three feet into the ground and designed to topple over if hit by a vehicle or vandalized.
“If you shake on it and push on it and hang on it hard enough, it will break the bolts, and that’s what’s happening,” he said.
Barksdale said every time NCDOT goes out to fix the issue, only the three bolts that are broken are replaced, not the post or the sign if they are not damaged.
“We just put it back up and put the three bolts, and what’s happening is we believe that some kids — I assume teenagers, who may be bored or whatever they’re doing, they’re vandalizing that by shaking on it and knock it over,” he said. “It probably might take more than one, but it’s actually designed to do that for safety so that if a car strikes, it breaks away more easily and does less damage to a car. It’s just the way it’s designed. They’re only doing it on this one side. The other side has not been done.”
Barksdale said it costs $15 to replace the three bolts and also costs for the man hours, which takes nearly two hours round trip.
“We cover six counties. So you know, we have workers that respond to stuff across the six-county region, not just in Halifax County,” he said. “So the man hours, that takes up time.”
Barksdale said NCDOT does not have a solution to prevent the suspected vandalization of the sign.
“There’s not an option to reinforce it or put in a different sign that people would have a hard time knocking down, but at the same time would cause more damage to a car if someone were to have an accident,” he said. “It’s being repeatedly vandalized, unfortunately, and we don’t have a good answer for how to solve that. However, we are looking at options to see what we can do. There’s not a quick fix right now.”
One thing the Herald asked about was if there were any other options for crossing signs that are more aesthetically appealing.
Barksdale said the signs are in accordance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which is the standard book for all NCDOT.
“By state law, drivers must stop and yield to any person using a marked crosswalk, so this yellow PED crossing sign is to warn drivers that they must be on the lookout for a PED who may be entering the crosswalk,” he said. “We leave it to law enforcement to address any issues of drivers not following traffic laws or signs.”
The Herald reached out to the City of Roanoke Rapids to see if there was any surveillance footage of the sign at the crosswalk to see if there was any proof of individuals vandalizing the sign. With an April 24 date given as a starting point when the sign was found on the ground, the review of the footage revealed the sign was erect at 3:43 p.m., but suddenly tipped and fell over without anyone around it.
The Herald supplied NCDOT with the footage and received a response on Tuesday from Division 4 Traffic Engineer Paul Marak, who watched the video.
“It had to have already been knocked down, and someone had stood it back up,” Marak said. “It takes a good jolt for the bolts to break loose. It would not have blown over just by the wind, for instance.”
The Herald will keep an eye on this mystery.
A 16-year-old juvenile was treated and flown to Greenville after being shot Thursday night in Enfield.
According to a press release from the Enfield Police Department, the incident occurred at about 9:34 p.m. in the vicinity of the 301 Market.
On Friday, Chief Eric Johnson with EPD said the victim was shot in the front lower extremity area and treated by Halifax County EMS. Johnson said the victim was later flown to a medical center in Greenville for injuries and is still alive.
“He sustained a lot of damage,” he said. “So right now, it’s still under investigation. We don’t really have a whole lot to go on right now. We are asking for anyone in the public to come forward.”
Johnson said the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office initially responded until he arrived to take over the investigation.
Anyone with any information can contact Chief Johnson at 252-445-5122, 252-676-0342 or email at email@example.com.
Johnson said all information received will be anonymous and considered confidential.