"They were in the living room with him; they heard a noise like someone was trying to open the door," Cole's grandmother Jessie Williams said. "He told them to go in the bedroom and don't come out. Then all this happened, the baby was asleep on the couch."
Cole's children were not hurt.
Investigators say it appeared Cole was shot during a struggle in his apartment. They say there was no sign of forced entry, so for now they say they are going on the assumption Cole knew one or more of the suspects.
Eyewitnesses told authorities they saw four men flee the scene possibly in a white SUV.
Investigators say a man seen in convenience store surveillance pictures with a similar vehicle is a person of interest.
Anyone with information about the identity of the person or vehicle, or any other information related to the case is urged to contact Detective Jeff Locklear at 910-587-3254.
"Please come forward, cause I really would like some closure, I really would," Williams said. "He was a lot of fun he was soft hearted he never bothered anybody."