Virginia gang member charged in murder
Shooting followed struggle over gun
Sarah Willets Staff writer
FAIRMONT — After nearly three straight days of investigation and court proceedings, a Virginia gang-member has been arrested in the shooting death of 33-year-old Travis Brown, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Reginald Isaiah Burney, 25, of Newport News, Va., was arrested late Wednesday night while hiding out with his eight-month pregnant girlfriend in a home in Raynham, said Erich Hackney, an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office.
Burney lived with his girlfriend on Main Street, just a half-block from where the murder occurred Monday evening on the 400 block of Stephens Road, said Hackney. He is charged with second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. Burney was already wanted for felony crimes in Virginia, where he was on probation.
According to Hackney, Burney is a “high-level” member of the Bloods gang in Virginia, although there is no evidence to suggest the shooting death was gang-related.
Instead, Hackney says, it was “a transaction that went terribly bad.”
According to Hackney, Burney met Brown to sell him a 12-gauge shotgun. The men had never met, but had communicated through a middle man who relayed pricing information and introduced them at the scene, Hackney said.
Brown, who lived on Sweetheart Drive, had not brought enough money for the sale and a struggle for the gun ensued, with Brown on the barrel-end.
“It was essentially against his abdomen when Burney discharged the weapon,” Hackney said.
Brown’s wife, her 11-year-old son and an infant were nearby in a car when the shooting occurred but were not injured. The middle man was not present when Brown was shot.
According to Hackney, Burney returned to the Main Street home Tuesday morning. Neighbors alerted him that Hackney and Detective Roy Grant, who investigated the case for the Fairmont Department of Public Safety, had come by the home.
Burney fled to Rowland, where he and his girlfriend spent Tuesday night in a hotel, said Hackney. They were picked up by a friend of Burney’s and taken to Raynham.
Hackney, with the help of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team and the State Bureau of Investigation, arrested Burney and brought him to Lumberton for his first court appearance on Thursday. Burney is currently being held at the Robeson County Detention Center under $215,000 bond.
“We are reviewing other folks that are indirectly involved in this case as to potential charges,” Hackney said. He would not say whether Burney’s girlfriend may be charged, but said the charges could include harboring a fugitive and obstructing justice.
Brown died during surgery at Southeastern Regional Medical Center.
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