Area man sought in shooting

Mar. 12, 2014 @ 05:02 AM

A West Lee middle schooler is in critical condition after being shot Monday night. A suspect remains at large.

Thomas Dolby Jr., 15, was found shot in his face and shoulder areas at 9:21 p.m. Monday in the 500 block of Pineland Street, according to Sanford Police Capt. Harold Layton. Dolby was transported to the Central Carolina Hospital Emergency Room and later flown to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, where he was listed in critical condition Tuesday.

Authorities issued warrants for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a felon for Pierre Alexander Amerson, 21, of the 2500 block of Bella Bridge Road, Broadway.

Wanda McIver, who lives on Pineland Street, was inside her home when she heard the gunfire Monday night.

“I heard the shots, and when I came outside, I saw (Dolby) lying on the ground,” she said. “By then, the police had pulled up.”

Valina Bryant is one of Dolby’s four siblings and said her brother was an avid sports fan, played video games and adored his family.

“He loved to play video games, to get on the computer and Skype with his girlfriend,” Bryant said. “He’s a good boy. He wasn’t a troublemaker.”

Jerry Chalmers wrote on The Sanford Herald’s Facebook page that Dolby had just finished playing with Chalmers’ 12-year-old son before he was shot.

“They sat together on the bus everyday,” he wrote. “He came to my house to play basketball and football out in the yard. Now I’m trying to explain why to my son.”

Sharon Tysor, who also lives on Pineland Street, said her nephew and grandson frequently played with Dolby and that she is praying for his recovery.

“He was such a sweet little boy who liked to play,” she said.

Sharon Spence, public information officer for Lee County Schools, wouldn’t confirm the student’s name or school he attended, but said guidance counselors were on hand for students and teachers at his middle school and elementary school.

“We are a small community and felt some teachers who had him as an elementary school student might want to speak to someone,” she said.

Both Tysor and McIver said something must be done to curb the city’s violence.

“Something has to change,” Tysor said. “Seems everyday there is a killing.”

McIver called the Monday night’s shooting a tragedy and said the community needs to come together.

On Sunday, a Sanford man was charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of his roommate, two Lee County men were charged on March 1 for the fatal shooting of a Harnett County man, and two local teenagers and two Sanford Police officers exchanged gunfire on Feb. 22, with both teenagers charged with attempted murder. There were also four gun-related deaths within city limits in December. 

According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections public offender database, Amerson was convicted on Jan. 27 for felony robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury, and served 36 months of probation.  According to Herald archives, Amerson was charged in connection with the armed robbery of Union Tire Service and the shooting of its employee in May, 2013.

Amerson was also convicted of misdemeanor wanton injury to personal property in 2013, misdemeanor breaking and entering in 2012 and misdemeanor damage to property, misdemeanor larceny and misdemeanor communicating threats in 2010, according to the department of corrections database.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Amerson are asked to contact the Sanford Police Department at (919) 777-1051 and to ask to speak to a detective.