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Law enforcement responded Monday to a shooting at a duplex in the 100 block of Marlless Drive and found two people - one a 17-year-old Franklinton High School student - fatally shot.
Montral Kearney, 28, was the adult victim in the shooting. The sheriff's office told ABC11 that evidence shows Kearney was the person who shot the teen, who died at the scene.
Kearney was then allegedly shot by another man, 23-year-old Charles Devante Perry-Pender. ABC11 learned Tuesday that Pender was Barnes' cousin.
According to investigators, Kearney pulled out a gun and shot DeMaruis Barnes - who was not armed - in the chest, killing him.
Deputies allege that's when Pender shot Kearney.
Although the reason behind the argument is still under investigation, authorities say all three had ties to a gang.
School leaders say Barnes, a ninth-grader at Franklinton High School was suspended last school year for gang activity.
Authorities say Perry-Pender turned himself into the Franklin County Sheriff's Office around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday. They say Kearney identified him as his neighbor and the person who shot him.
Kearney then died on the way to WakeMed, deputies said.
Perry-Pender is now being charged with one count of murder.
Barnes had been suspended for gang related activity and for bringing a gun to school, investigators told ABC11.
Family members and coworkers say that's not the person they knew.
Garland Hudgins, the manager at Hometown Cafe in Franklinton hired Barnes a week ago. He was so impressed by Barnes' poise and presence that he hired him on the spot.
"For what we experienced a short time it was one of those hires you felt good about," Hudgins said. "Real clean-cut, real handsome guy, with a button-up polo to the top and he was just like hey I want an opportunity. Everybody is in just big shock."
The teen's father said before his school suspension, his son was an athlete and played basketball and football for Franklinton High.
The school district had extra grief counselors at the school Tuesday.
"Franklin County Schools is deeply saddened to learn about the shooting death of a Franklinton High School student over the Labor Day holiday. The loss of a young life is indescribable," the school district said in a statement to ABC11.
"The district wishes to express its condolences to the family as they try to come to terms with today's incident. Franklin County Schools will do everything possible to support them and the school community during this tragedy. As part of that support, the school system plans to have additional counselors on hand for Franklinton High School students on Tuesday, September 5," the district added.
Barnes did not live in the duplex where the shooting happened, investigators said.
Sheriff Kent Winstead calling the attack horrific and senseless.
"It's a tragedy to the family, to the community," Winstead said.
Perry-Pender was denied bond. He is being held at the Franklin County Detention Center.