Wayne County teens dead in double suicide

Boyfriend and girlfriend found with gunshot wounds to the head in parked pickup truck.
January 14, 2014 4:00:02 PM PST
Two Wayne County teens are dead after a double shooting in a pickup truck parked in the area of the Little River Bridge on Capps Bridge Road Monday afternoon.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office said it got the call around 3:30 p.m.

Deputies found 16-year-old Spenser Terry Garrison, of Ash Landing, Goldsboro, dead in the vehicle.

Fifteen-year-old Malia K. Porter of Kalmia Place, Pikeville, was rushed to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where she passed away early Tuesday.

Authorities said they both committed suicide.

Deputies said both teens suffered a single gunshot wound to the head. One gun was found in the truck. The investigation is not complete, but the sheriff's office said evidence at the scene indicates foul play is not suspected.

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said he "expresses his deepest sorrow to the families of these two young people whose life ended before it really began."

Friends said the teens were boyfriend and girlfriend.

"This morning I woke up and still...still I don't want to believe it's true," said Garrison's friend, Alex Brogden. "Every time I was around him, he was always happy. He would always goof off. Go down to the river, catfish, stuff like that. I never ever saw him in something where he would do something like this."

"It's been tragedy. I never pictured Spenser doing something like this," added Garrison's friend, Adam Newcome.

Just like some of their friends, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office is trying to understand what would have put these teens in the frame of mind to kill themselves.

They were sophomores at Rosewood High School. Grief counselors were brought in Tuesday for students.

"This community will be changed for years because of this. There's just been such an outpouring of support for this school, for these students, and that's the goal...to help these students move forward," said Wayne County Schools Communications Director Ken Derksen.

Garrison was a football player at the school and Porter was very involved in the church. The teen and her family attended The Bridge Church in Princeton.

"They're hurting right now, as you can imagine, and they just need our love and support and prayers," said Pastor Jeremy White.

Porter was a part of the Honor Star Ministry, which is intended to build women up.

Pastor White has been meeting with the church's youth and students at the high school, many who feel guilty.

"It's just important for us to remind them that there's nothing they could have done. No one saw this coming and for them not to beat themselves up. And if anyone could have done anything we would have," he said.  

The church is opening its doors to the public Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Clergy is making the center available for folks in the tight knit community who are having a tough time coping.

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