‘Nice young man’: Neighbors remember teen found dead blocks away, 12 hours after Fayetteville shooting

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fayetteville police say the city’s latest shooting victim was found dead in his neighbor’s yard Monday morning after being shot the night before.

Police say neighbors called 911 around 8 p.m. Sunday to report shots fired near Blockade Runner Drive.

“Officers came, they spoke to several neighbors, they looked for any victims, any witnesses,” said Fayetteville police Sgt. Jeremy Glass. “They could not locate anything.”

It wasn’t until Monday around 8 a.m. — 12 hours later — that the body of 19-year-old Cededrion Whitlock was found in a yard about three blocks away along Bargemaster Drive.

Homeowner James Champagne woke up to the sound of screams Monday morning.

“I heard a bunch of screaming and crying outside, so I look out my window and I saw neighbors out there and I came out there and I looked and I saw the young man laying on the ground,” Champagne said.

Whitlock was found dead after collapsing in his next door neighbor’s yard.  

“I believe because he made it so far and where he collapsed behind that fence it made it hard for basically anyone to notice him until this morning,” Glass said.

“I just want people to know that he was a good man,” Champagne said. “He was a nice young man.”

“He was a community member three streets from me — our families are close,” neighbor and Fayetteville City Councilman Christopher Davis said.

Davis said he’ll be talking with city leaders and community members about ways to stop violence in the city.

“We’ve got to do a better job as a community – not just the police – as a community, of protecting our youth and protecting our community,” Davis said. “It’s a sad thing that brought us together, but let’s work in order to get this fixed.”

Police say the shooting does not appear to be random.

No suspect information has been released.

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