GATES COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) - The Gates County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the identities of two suspects involved in a store shooting.
Officials say brothers Quinten Felton and Eddie Felton were shot and killed after an attempted robbery at Joppa Road Store located at the intersection of Acorn Hill Road and Hinton Road in North Carolina around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
During the robbery, Sheriff Edward Webb with the Gates County Sheriff's Office, says the store clerk was knocked to the ground, kicked in the back of the head, stomped on and kicked in the back of the ribs.
Webb says the store's owner, Duanne Ammann, legally owned the gun used in the shooting, and that most owners of privately owned stores in the county have a gun for protection.
An ongoing investigation reveals that Quinten beat the clerk while he was on the ground. Webb says the clerk had a pistol under a shelf and fired one shot at random over his shoulder while Quinten was beating him, striking Eddie the the stomach. Then, Webb says the clerk stood up, grabbed the barrel of the rifle that was pointed in his face by Eddie and fired several shots through the window as Eddie ran out the door.
"He was looking down that barrel. He literally grabbed the barrel of that gun and had to pull it off of his face. He hand was torn when the gentleman snatched the weapon back out of his hand. And he's sitting there being beat down on the floor, being beat and stomped and he did what he had to do at that particular time," explained Sheriff Webb.
According to Webb, Quinten and Eddie's parents couldn't find them last night. Eventually, the parents came to the store to identify their sons' bodies.
Quinten was shot in the stomach and was found dead by the nearby woods. Eddie was found dead by the store.
Webb says casings at the scene match the type of rifle that Eddie had.
"Unfortunately they're just two young men that did something very uncalled for," said Webb. "And, of course, they have paid the ultimate price."
10 On Your Side's Anne McNamara spoke with family members about the Felton brothers. Their cousin said they were nice kids, and that kids make mistakes. The family expressed concern for the clerk involved as well.
"If everybody would put that situation in their lap, and think as they were the parent of those two kids, they would think different," said Sandra Felton, the suspects' cousin.
Eddie graduated Perquimans County High School in 2010, and Quinten was supposed to graduate this year. The school confirms that Eddie was a varsity football player and was ranked third in the state for basketball .
"He was an all around good student," said principal Chante Lassiter, who remembers Eddie. "Very liked by his peers and teachers here in the community."
Quinten was a senior honor-roll student at Perquimans County High School.
"He was a student here at the school, and in line to graduate with our graduating class on June 8," said Lassiter.
The school provided extra counselors, ministers and other administrators to help with counseling Wednesday. Students were allowed to leave class to deal with their grief.
"If parents feel students need to go home, or if we felt students were overwhelmed or removed from the setting, we have been allowing students to go home today," said Lassiter.
Cousin Sandra Felton says she remembers the young men liked to play basketball outside the house. Her impression of them contradicts their actions Tuesday night.
"I never heard anything bad about them," said Felton. "They were good students in school. I just think that was a terrible thing that happened. I don't know what caused that to happen, but my heart goes out to the family."
The suspects' mother is a teacher at a local middle school. Sandra Felton says she always gave her daughter extra tutoring when she needed it.
"She always told me, 'My door is open,' if I need to call her," said Felton.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Gates County Sheriff's Office with the investigation. Officials are looking into robberies at two Duck Thrus - one in Pasquotank and one in Edenton - and comparing them to the incident at Joppa Road Store to see if there are any similarities.
Deputies are searching for a third person they believe was a getaway driver for the suspects. There is no description of that person at this time. Anyone with information on the driver's whereabouts is asked to call 252-357-0210.
Sheriff Webb says detectives will send their information to the District Attorney to make a final decision on whether the store owner will face charges.
"Everybody knows in North Carolina, this is just a general courtesy law, but you know that if someone breaks in on top of you, you have the right to defend yourself, if it be a residence or it be a convenience store or whatever. You have the right," explained Webb.
"I know it was a terrible thing on the other part," said Sandra Felton, in reference to the attack
on the clerk. "But still, we cannot forget that we have lost two lives, no matter what."
Stay with WAVY.com for the latest on this developing story.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's biennial state budget provides funding for operations and management of historic Fort Monroe.
A student at Old Dominion University was arrested Thursday and charged with filing a false report. Police say he lied about being robbed.
Police and fire crews are investigating a report of items found in a motel room consistent with manufacturing narcotics Friday.