Witness says Raleigh shooting victim was ambushed

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comMay 8, 2013 

Christian Tobias McLean

COURTESY OF THE MCLEAN FAMILY

— A neighbor who witnessed events leading up to a fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon near WakeMed says the victim was ambushed.

Police have not yet made an arrest in the death of Christian Tobias McLean, 25, of 202 N. Peartree Lane, off New Bern Avenue. Officers found McLean near a stairwell in front of his apartment shortly before 1 p.m.

A neighbor who lives in the same building said a man with a slim build and dreadlocks crept past his front window minutes before the shooting.

Police would not confirm the neighbor’s account, but investigators did provide a description of the shooting suspect Wednesday afternoon that is similar to the man the neighbor said he saw. Police describe the suspect as a black man of undetermined age and height, with a medium-to-dark skin complexion, and medium build with shoulder-length dreadlocks.

Police have not disclosed a possible motive for the shooting.

The neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said it was unusual for an adult to be walking between the hedges and window in front of his apartment. The neighbor said the man walked past his window a second time and stayed out of sight for at least 10 minutes until McLean drove up and parked his brown Mazda Protegé in front of his apartment.

The neighbor said the man walked past his window again and confronted McLean. The neighbor heard McLean ask, “What’s happening, brother?”

Sounds of a scuffle broke out, and the neighbor heard McLean’s voice saying, “No, no,” before two gunshots were fired.

When the man went outside, McLean was holding onto the rail of the stairway, heaving.

McLean’s girlfriend, who called 911, told the dispatcher that he had gone to a nearby store and returned home, and that she thought he was unlocking the door of their apartment when she heard screams and gunshots.

Two men who lived in McLean’s building tried to keep him conscious until police and paramedics arrived.

But McLean lost consciousness before paramedics got to him, according to a copy of the 911 recording made public Wednesday.

“Baby, baby,” his distraught girlfriend said to him. “Please open your eyes.”

As police later searched in and around McLean’s apartment for evidence, detectives dug a bullet from the exterior of the building.

Christian McLean graduated from Wake public schools and had been working as a barber since he was 18, after studying at Harris Barber College in downtown Raleigh, where his father is the manager, according to his mother, Carrie McLean.

“He was a nice, kind and peaceful person,” Carrie McLean said Tuesday evening. “To have him go out like this is nothing one can understand.”

Police ask anyone with information that might assist the investigation either to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357 or to go to the Crime Stoppers website at www.raleighcrimestoppers.org for instructions on how to report a tip online or by text message.

News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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