5-year-old boy fatally shot in Elizabeth City

North Carolina

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Gunfire has killed a 5-year-old boy in Elizabeth City.

Romell Chamblee Jr. was days away from his sixth birthday.

Elizabeth City police say they initially received a call around 5 p.m. Sunday reporting a child had been shot in the stomach with a BB gun.

When they arrived at 1403 River Road at Hickory Village Mobile Home Park, officers found a boy at one of the lots with a gunshot wound. First aid was being rendered when officers arrived, then the boy was taken by ambulance to Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.

Romell died from his injuries while at the hospital.

Police later found and seized a handgun at the scene.

Officers aren’t saying how the boy was shot or where the 9mm pistol came from, but neighbors told 10 On Your Side his death has shaken the Hickory Village community.

A next-door neighbor who did not want to be identified or put on camera had tears in her eyes while telling 10 On Your Side she knew Romell and that her children were friends with him and often played together.

She also said the community is close-knit because everyone watches out for each other. She said they’re keeping the boy’s family in their prayers.

The neighbors across the street say they heard a single gunshot Sunday evening, followed by knocking on their front door. Children stood on the doorstep asking for help, the neighbors said.

The couple didn’t want to be identified but said they know their neighbors well.

When the kids told them what happened, they rushed over. The woman tried to stop the 5-year-old from bleeding but couldn’t save him.

The couple said six children were at the home at the time of the shooting, two teens and four younger children including the 5-year-old who died.

The man said the bullet shot through the top of the storm door at the home, shattering the glass.

Romell’s family has started a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

Investigators have not said whether charges will be filed due to the active investigation.

Anyone with pertinent information to contact the Elizabeth City Police Department at (252) 621-7109 or the Crime Line at (252) 333-5555. All information received will remain anonymous and strictly confidential.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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