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Arrest made in 7-year-old's shooting death

Arrest made in 7-year-old's shooting death

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A Hickory man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 7-year-old Zakylen Greylen Harris.

Douglas Mason Wilson, 23, was arrested Thursday.

Wilson also was charged with possession of marijuana. He is being held without bond on the murder charge.

Wilson is identified as a Claremont resident on the Catawba County Jail website, but the police report lists a Hickory address for him.

The report states his time of arrest at just before 8 p.m. Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Hickory police Chief Thurman Whisnant said at a press conference Friday afternoon that Wilson was first arrested on outstanding Catawba County warrants and later charged with murder.

Whisnant thanked the public and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the case.

“The path towards justice is a long one, and there’s a lot of work still to be done in this case and a lot of questions that still have to be answered,” Whisnant said, adding that the department would provide updates as information becomes available.

He did not take questions at the conference or provide any additional details on the case. Whisnant asked anyone with tips on the case to call 828-328-5551.

Zakylen’s aunt, Tiffany Gray, and the Rev. Reggie Longcrier, who is ministering to the family, were also present at the press conference.

On Friday morning, Wilson made a brief first appearance in court before District Court Judge Clifton Smith.

Wilson had an attorney appointed for the time being. He is set to appear in court again May 13 for a probable cause hearing.

Wilson told the judge he also has a court appearance May 5 in Tennessee on a felony probation matter.


Zakylen died Wednesday night after being shot in the neck while in the passenger seat of a car his mother was driving on Tate Boulevard, according to the Hickory Police Department.

Zakylen was pronounced dead at Catawba Valley Medical Center, Whisnant said during a press conference Thursday.

Two other children in the vehicle, ages 6 and 1, were not injured.

Surveillance video showed the victims’ vehicle turn onto Tate Boulevard at the 15th Street SE intersection and move into the left lane. The suspect’s vehicle followed in the same direction in the right lane. The victims’ vehicle changed to the right lane, putting them in front of the suspect’s vehicle.

The victim’s mother then heard a woman in the other vehicle yelling at her. That vehicle then pulled next to the victims’ vehicle and a shot was fired from the suspect’s vehicle, police said.

The suspect’s vehicle then continued on Tate at a high rate of speed. Police said it’s unclear how many occupants were in the suspect’s vehicle.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.


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