Shooting during fight outside Fayetteville store


According to a Fayetteville Police Department spokesperson, 58-year-old Donnie Smith of Gilcrest Sands Drive in Hope Mills drove to the Advance Auto at 2400 Owen Drive just before noon Friday.

Investigators said when Smith came out of the business, he observed two men attacking the occupants of his vehicle.  As Smith neared the vehicle, he commanded the men to stop.

Police said one of the men - 28-year-old William Cephus Strickland - began to approach Smith and threatened to kill him.  While Strickland continued to approach in a threatening manner, Smith removed a handgun and shot Strickland in the leg.  

The other man with Strickland - his brother Christopher - then ran back to a sports utility vehicle, while William attempted to get into the front passenger seat.  

Christopher Strickland allegedly then used the vehicle to strike Smith and continued forward until hitting a utility pole.  The collision caused Donnie Smith to fall onto the ground from the hood of the vehicle, at which time Christopher Strickland exited and began to physically assault Smith.  

Police said a citizen, who was driving on Owen Drive at the time, observed the assault and stopped to render assistance and told Strickland to stop the assault.  When Strickland did not, the citizen removed a handgun and fired two rounds into the ground.  The assault upon Smith ceased and police officers arrived on scene simultaneously.

Police have charged Christopher Wayne Strickland of Canadian Avenue in Hope Mills with attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill and assault inflicting serious bodily injury. He was jailed on a $193,000 secured bond.  

William Cephus Strickland who was injured by the gunshot wound to his leg and injuries sustained during the vehicle crash, was transported to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for medical assistance.  Strickland was listed in critical condition.

Police said when he is released from the hospital, he will face charges of assault on a handicap person, assault on a female, communication of threats, assault in the presence of a minor and damage to property.  

Police said the motive for the alleged assault was related to William Strickland and an unidentified woman who was with Smith.

Smith and the citizen who stopped to help him will not be charged.

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