The shooting death of Latoya McNeil, 31, on the night of Nov. 30, 2012, left many neighbors and friends wondering.
She was the glue to the family, some said. She was a day care worker. She was a mother of three.
Who would shoot her? Why would someone shoot her?
Two years later, police are still searching for those answers.
“This type of crime is not something that we typically see,” Garner Police Lt. Joe Binns said. “If we have something a lot of times it’s domestic-related. This relationship is unknown because we don’t have a suspect.”
Binns said with domestic incidents, police are able to tie relationships together and can generally get a sense of why someone wanted to kill someone else. In this case, investigators have not been able to determine a motive.
The day she died, McNeil had worked from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. She and her mother, Angela Harding, attended one of her son’s basketball game at North Garner Middle School across the street.
McNeil, her mother and two of her children pulled up in front of their apartment around 9:26 p.m.
Harding got out of the car and walked over to her daughter’s door to let her out. When she opened the door she felt a sting in her back. McNeil then got out of the car and as she was turning around was hit with a bullet under her arm. The bullet traveled to her chest and pierced her organs.
McNeil then fell to the ground, where she died on the scene. Her children, who were in the back seat, were not injured, investigators say.
Binns said the shooter was more than 250 feet away at the bottom of the street. The bullets came from a semi-automatic hand gun.
The descriptions of the two suspects are unclear. Witnesses who said they looked out the window when they heard the shots said they saw two men running toward Curtiss Street, but it was too dark outside to give a clear description
Binns said due to the nature of the crime and the distance away, investigators have been unable to determine whether the shooting was targeted, whether the shooters knew who they were shooting, or even if they meant to shoot them.
Harding declined to comment for this story.
The investigation remains active.
Investigators are asking anyone with information concerning the homicide of Latoya McNeil or information about suspicious activity around the time of the crime, contact the Garner Police Department Crime Stoppers at 919-890-7318 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Callers can remain anonymous. Police are offering a $10,000 award for anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.
“Garner is a close tight knit community and anytime we have something like this we want to see justice done,” Binns said. “We would definitely specifically like some help from the public because we think somebody knows who did this. Somebody has talked to someone or somebody has said something to somebody who knows who did this and we would want them to come forward.”