People in Princeton had likely seen Moesha Lockamy’s car around town.
A pink Crown Victoria with chrome rims is hard to miss.
Lockamy’s mom, Tikita Mckoy, said her 18-year-old daughter was proud of her ride. When she left the house, she’d often say she was going to “paint the town pink.”
“She was the life of the party,” Mckoy said. “She never met a stranger.”
Just like her car, Lockamy’s was one of a kind, according to her family and friends. Her sudden death from what police are calling an accidental shooting on May 2 has left her loved ones grieving and trying to make sense of what happened.
Favorite memories of Lockamy, known as “Keke” or “Mo” to many, help ease the pain, her mother said. So do prayers from the community.
Lockamy’s grandmother, Deborah Mckoy, said the family can feel the prayers. When they laugh or simply go through a day without a breakdown, that’s prayer at work, she said.
On Wednesday, the Mckoys prayed with the Rev. Terence Leathers and his congregation at Mt. Vernon Christian Church in Clayton. The crowd of more than 100 people gathered to remember Lockamy, who they said was one of many victims of domestic violence.
Police, however, say the shooting was a tragic accident. Wilson’s Mills Police Chief David Hess said the gun fired while Lockamy and her 41-year-old boyfriend, Derrick Williams, were “playing” with a gun.
Hess said he couldn’t elaborate on how the two were “playing” with the gun because that’s still under investigation.
A magistrate’s order alleges that Williams pointed what he thought was an unloaded gun at Lockamy and pulled the trigger. A warrant shows that police believe the shot that killed Lockamy was a “contact shot,” meaning the muzzle of the gun was in direct contact with her body when it fired.
When police responded to the shooting, which occurred around 2:40 a.m. at Williams’ home in Wilson’s Mills, an officer found Lockamy lying face-up a few feet from the front door. She was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to court documents.
Within moments of the officer arriving, she stopped breathing. Paramedics pronounced her dead within minutes. Williams was charged with second-degree murder.
Lockamy’s mother said her daughter met Williams at Flanders, the air-filter plant in Smithfield where they both worked. On Wednesday, the family did not go into detail about the pair’s relationship, as the case against Williams will soon go before a judge.
Hess said the two were definitely in a consenting relationship. He said his department had never responded to a domestic disturbance at Williams’ address.
‘The gun dropped’
It’s unclear who called 911 to report the shooting, but the call came from someone at Williams’ home. The only other person at the house was Williams’ relative, 24-year-old Creston Williams, according to court documents.
In a recording of the 911 call, a man tells the dispatcher, “She got shot.”
“We didn’t know it was loaded; it dropped, and it went off,” the man adds.
When the dispatcher asks what type of gun was used, the man says, “It was a 9mm.”
The caller goes on to say, “The gun dropped,” several times.
Officers arrested Williams at the scene and charged him with second-degree murder. He was ordered held under a $100,000 bond.
When considering the amount of Williams’ bond, the magistrate wrote that Williams cooperated with police and gave Lockamy first aid and CPR until first responders arrived.
Williams made bond on May 2 and was released from jail.
At his first court appearance on May 4, Williams waived his right to an attorney. He could not be reached for comment.
Hess said according to arrest records, Williams is a convicted felon with a history of drug and weapon charges. He said the department is still investigating who owned the gun used in the shooting.
‘We need you’
At the vigil on Wednesday, Leathers stood at the pulpit with Lockamy’s mother and grandmother under each arm. They embraced each other as tears rolled down their cheeks and an organ played a hymn.
Before lighting a candle for her granddaughter, Deborah Mckoy, who attends Mt. Vernon, told the congregation that she loved them. They responded with a resounding, “I love you, too.”
“We need you right now,” Deborah said. “We need you.”
The vigil also drew Clayton councilmen, a police officer and advocates for Harbor Inc., the Johnston County agency that provides aid to victims of rape and domestic violence. They called on everyone to report problems at home and vow to never hit, verbally abuse or psychologically intimidate loved ones.
Afterward, Lockamy’s mother made her way around the room, hugging loved ones and strangers alike. She smiled as she thought back to her daughter with the pink Crown Vic who had plans to join the Army. She would have turned 19 on Friday.
Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104.