Tire shop shooting suspect was church usher

O'Brian McNeil White blows kisses to supporters during a court hearing.

April 18, 2012 2:16:19 PM PDT
The man police believe is the suspect in a shooting that killed two people at a Durham tire shop last month, appeared before a judge for the first time Monday morning.

O'Brian McNeil White smiled and blew kisses at his friends and fellow church members who showed up in court to support him on the same day JT Tire reopened its doors following the March 24 quadruple shooting.

Witnesses said a robber walked into the store and started shooting. Sixty-five-year-old Naomi Turner Wright, who ran the front desk at the store, and 32-year-old Abdelgadir Mergany Abdelganir, a cab driver who was at the shop for a repair, were killed.

Fifty-one year-old Terry Shaw - an employee of JT Tire - and another man who was a customer at the business - Javier Ramirez - were hurt.

Twenty-four-year-old White was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of robbery.

Sources have told ABC11 White was arrested at a local hospital.

Authorities have said robbery was the motive, but White's friends maintain his innocence.

"Until they can prove that he did it to us ... we're going to sit there and fight for his innocence and as you can see right now he's got a lot of people fighting for him," White's brother Travis Jackson said.

The pastor of White's church said he tried to intervene when White recently stopped attending church and believes the 24-year-old needs mental health treatment.

"That's a strong possibility that he's been suffering from some illness," Pastor Raymond Burroughs said.

"He knew he needed help," supporter Henrietta Burroughs said. "Sometimes people know what they need but they just don't know how to get it."

Burroughs said had White received the treatment he needed, he believes this tragedy never would've happened.

Burroughs also said White was at Fort Bragg for a brief period, before was let go after something happened during basic training in 2007.

In the meantime, White remains in jail without bond on the murder charges.

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