US Marshals joins search for Wilson birthday party shooting suspect

Sean Coffey Image
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Search continues for suspect in Wilson birthday party shooting
Wilson Police say they still do not have the 18-year-old Braulio Fuentes Martinez in custody, and U.S. marshals are now assisting in the search.

WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- On Tuesday, Wilson residents and business owners voiced their concerns as the search for Braulio Fuentes Martinez, suspected of shooting four people at a birthday party early Sunday morning, nears the 72-hour mark.

Wilson Police say they still do not have the 18-year-old in custody, and U.S. Marshals are now assisting in the search.

"Super close to home, super small town. You don't really see stuff like that around here a lot," said Wilson native Robert Guilford. Guilford said he's been hesitant to go out in public like he normally would with the suspect still at large.

"Normally you see this stuff on the news and it's like somewhere far away. But Wilson's a small town, and the person was still at large. So I was like, do I even go outside?" he said.

The senior at Southern Nash High School faces multiple warrants for arrest for attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of a stolen firearm.

Police said all this happened after he was asked to leave a birthday party at the Wilson County Fairgrounds and then fired into the crowd. Four people were shot, all survived and have since been released from area hospitals. Authorities say Fuentes Martinez escaped on foot.

"It's really surprising and unfortunate. That's not the kind of thing that really happens in our community. So when it does happen, it's it takes you back a little bit," said Bill O'Boyle, who runs a consulting firm, North State Consulting, downtown.

O'Boyle is confident the WPD will find the suspect soon.

"I feel very comfortable with our public safety officials. They do a great job. They're always visible. And I'm sure they're doing everything they can," O'Boyle said.

Southern Nash High School was on a soft lockdown, but that was lifted Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for the school said they never received any threats from Fuentes Martinez, but have kept Nash County Sheriff's deputies on site as a precaution.