Argument led to shooting in apartment and murder charge, Benson police say

A man found shot to death Sunday evening was identified Monday as Jason Audas Rivera, 40, of Garner Drive in Smithfield, and police said they had charged a Wilson County man with killing him.

Michael Trism Fenix Willis, 22, of Monique Road in Lucama, in Wilson County was charged after an overnight investigation pointed to him, police said in a statement.

Rivera was found on a sidewalk outside 905 Barefoot St. a little after 7:30 p.m. and pronounced dead there.

Officers found Rivera after they answered a call about a shooting, the statement said.

Willis had fled on foot after the shooting, police said.

After investigators identified Willis as a suspect, police said, they reached out to members of his family and then were able to talk to him by phone.

Willis went to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, the statement said, and was driven to Benson.

As police reconstructed events, Rivera and Willis were visiting someone at a apartment when they argued, Willis shot Rivera in the chest with a small-caliber pistol, and Rivera stumbled out to the sidewalk before collapsing, investigators determined.

The person the two men were visiting and the reason for the argument were not disclosed.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT