11/13/17 — Goldsboro man is identified as a suspect, one of the dead in LaGrange triple homicide

View Archive

Goldsboro man is identified as a suspect, one of the dead in LaGrange triple homicide

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on November 13, 2017 2:32 PM

Full Size

Jerrell Marquez Pridgen

LAGRANGE -- One of the three people killed in a triple homicide at 308 W. Queen St. in LaGrange early Sunday morning was from Goldsboro and also a suspect in the crime.

Jerrell Marquez Pridgen, of 1301 S. Harding Drive Apt. 304, is a suspect in what the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office is calling a botched robbery attempt turned triple homicide.

A group was playing cards inside the property on West Queen Street when the suspects came in and demanded money at about 1:15 a.m.

A press release said while Pridgen was shot and killed, none of the victims of the failed robbery appeared to be armed.

"We are still working to find out if a struggle occurred or if the robbers just came in shooting," said Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram. "We do know for sure that Pridgen was one of the suspects at the scene, along with some others, and their intention was robbing someone. He was armed with a gun, had something covering his face and demanded money from the victims."

The other two people killed in the incident were identified as John Wesley Johnson Jr., of Sumter, South Carolina, and Roderick Wayne Gillette, of LaGrange.

A fourth person suffered a gunshot wound and is still recovering from his injuries, but is not being identified at this time.

The sheriff's office says Johnson was in control of the property where the shooting occurred.

Ingram said the area in LaGrange where the triple homicide happened is not known for violence or crime, and deputies heard the gunshots before it was called in to 911.

Deputies had reportedly already begun driving toward the shooting before dispatchers gave them information about the incident.

"The town of LaGrange is very quiet after midnight when everything is closed, so the patrol deputies actually heard the shooting happen and were looking for it when someone had called 911," Ingram said.

Detectives are still working to identify and find other suspects involved in the slayings.

No other suspect information is being released at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office at 252-559-6118, or contact Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444.