Suspect in Walmart shooting was being robbed before shots were fired, family says

Johnston County News

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – The 19-year-old man charged with shooting a teen in the head on Friday outside a Walmart in Smithfield appeared before a judge on Monday.

Matthew Beddingfield is facing a first-degree attempted murder charge.  Prosecutors said Beddingfield shot a 17-year-old in the head.

Beddingfield parents were inside the courtroom.

Matthew Beddingfield

His mother was unable to speak, but the father Jason Beddingfield found the words to describe his son’s version of events.

Jason Beddingfield said his son has never been in trouble with the law and this was a situation where he said his son was defending himself.

“It wasn’t like he was just randomly shooting at people,  but he was robbed and he’s now facing these charges. And we’re trying to do the best we can and I’m sorry that somebody got shot, but also this would not have happened if he had been robbed,” explained Jason Beddingfield. 

The shooting happened Friday evening at the Walmart on Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield.

Shoppers described hearing multiple shots and ducking for cover.

 Investigators released a description of Beddingfield soon after the shooting and reported that he fled the area in a white Dodge Charger.

Police said he turned himself in the next morning.

Beddingfield’s father said his son was at Walmart with a friend, but couldn’t say if Matthew Beddingfield and the victim knew each other. 

“They were in the back seat of his car and pulled guns on him. They took his money, pulled the console out of his car and exited the car and process of exciting the car one of them got shot,” continued Beddingfield

Smithfield police wouldn’t comment on a motive and said there’s still an ongoing investigation.

Beddingfield is being held a $1 million bond and is due back in court January 9.

 

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