Lawmen staying mum on identity of murder suspects


First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON - Investigators apparently know the names of two men suspected in the deadly shootings of two Robeson County men on Wednesday, but aren't releasing them.
The gunmen abandoned their car, a black Buick Century, after the shootings, but investigators aren't saying who the vehicle is registered to. No arrests have been made.
Darrick Lee Locklear, 25, and Lee Chavis, 25, were shot to death while standing in a yard of a mobile home at 615 Lumbee Ave. in the Raft Swamp community.
The men, armed with handgun, drove up in the Buick, got out and fired shots at Locklear, Chavis and a third man, Jason Bryant Oxendine. Oxendine, 24, was shot in the leg and taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center and later transported to another hospital. Locklear and Chavis suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Sheriff's Maj. Howard Branch said Jason's Oxendine's father, Merlin, who was inside the home on Lumbee Avenue, returned fire at the gunmen. The gunmen got back into the car, backed out of the driveway and ran into a ditch. The men then got out of the car and fled on foot, authorities said.
Lumbee Avenue is located off Holly Swamp Road near N.C. 72, south of Lumberton. The shootings happened at 5:45 p.m. The only description of the gunmen is that both are black.
One neighbor said he believed the shootings are drug-related. Detective Reggle Strickland said he couldn't talk about a motive.
Court records show that Chavis, who would have turned 26 today, had two pending charges - possession of a firearm by a felon and trafficking cocaine. The charges stem from an arrest on Nov. 4, 2006. Chavis lived at 2067 Biggs Road in Lumberton.
Neither Jason Oxendine, of 233 Pasture Drive, Maxton, nor Darrick Locklear, of 267, Pasture Drive, Maxton, appeared to have a criminal record.
Merlin Oxendine's other son, Merlin Jr., was murdered in 2002. Eric Jones, 30, is serving two life sentences for killing him and Frank Farmer.

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