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Family members of a young North Carolina woman killed by her partner say she was in the process of trying to leave her allegedly abusive boyfriend.
Xamegga Whitfield, 25, was shot to death in the street by Michael Cintel Culpepper, 20, according to the Fayetteville Police Department. Detectives were able to obtain a video that recorded the Oct. 21 shooting. Police say a nearby resident called 911 to report the crime, and when the first officer arrived at around 7:29 a.m., they found the suspect on his knees in the road. Culpepper then shot himself.
Culpepper was transported to Cape Fear Valley Hospital, where he died from his injuries. Whitfield was dead on the scene.
The shooting prompted nearby Ireland Drive Middle School and other schools in the area to issue a code yellow, according to WRAL. The precaution, which requires that students stay in their classrooms, was lifted soon after.
A neighbor told The Fayetteville Observer they heard around six gunshots fired in rapid succession.
“She was amazing. She was my baby,” Whitfield’s sister, Cierra Bell, told the Observer. “She was so smart. She was everything.”
Relatives say Culpepper and Whitfield shared an apartment on the 900 Block of Miller Avenue, where the incident took place, the Observer reported.
The couple was allegedly in the process of ending the relationship.
“I guess, last night, they had gotten into it, or whatever, and then, he busted my mom’s rent-a-car window because we were moving stuff into her house,” Bell told WRAL. “The next morning, my mom said she [Xamegga] was already scared.”
Culpepper’s relatives also reacted to the murder-suicide.
“Anybody that has a family member who is going through suicide, or thoughts of suicide, or thoughts of hurting themselves, anybody that’s going through an abusive relationship or anybody that’s going through a hard time – I ask that somebody reach out to them,” Culpepper’s aunt, Vonshai Culpepper told WRAL.
According to the Observer, Culpepper’s aunt said he'd recently enlisted in the US Army.
“This is a nightmare,” Vonshai Culpepper added.
Police say there are no other suspects at this time but urge anyone with information to contact Detective J. Olsen at 910-709-1958 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).
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