Girlfriend heard argument on phone before fatal shooting

The girlfriend of Abraham Jenkins, who was killed earlier this week, said she was on the phone with him just before he was shot to death.

Jenkins, 19, was gunned down at the corner of West Horah and Institute streets on Monday, just a few blocks from the boarding house where he lived.


Da’Qwonda Cox, a junior at Livingstone College, said she met Jenkins through a mutual friend and the two had been dating since Sept. 7.

The day Jenkins died, she said, he was walking to meet her and they were going to “hang out” at his place. She was on the phone with Jenkins when he was shot and killed.

“I couldn’t make out anything that was said,” Cox said.

Cox said she heard arguing while talking to Jenkins on the phone, but she was distracted by a friend who’d stopped to talk to her.

Cox was on the other end of the block of Institute Street closer to Monroe Street, but ran toward Jenkins after she heard the gunshots. When she got to Jenkins he was already on the ground.

She said he acknowledged her and tried to speak, but could not utter any recognizable words.

A passerby, possibly a witness to the shooting, stopped to help Jenkins. She said the man, who was in a work van, tried to help apply pressure to Jenkins’ wounds. He urged Jenkins not to speak.

Cox said she misses Jenkins and cries often at the thought of losing someone she said was kind to everyone he met.

She said to her knowledge Jenkins didn’t have any enemies and was the “sweetest person I’ve ever met.”

Neighbors and family have said Jenkins was a respectful, polite young man.

Jenkins was shot around 2:50 p.m., authorities have said.

Andre Rynell Bognuda, 22, was charged with resisting arrest about an hour after the shooting in an unrelated traffic stop. He was charged with murder while in the Rowan County Detention Center.

Cox said she didn’t know Bognuda and didn’t believe Jenkins knew him either.

“It’s crazy that something like that could happen like that in broad daylight,” she said.

She said she just wants the community to know Jenkins was loved and his was a life that did not have to be taken.

Jenkins, who worked at Summit Developers in Salisbury, usually went to work each day and according to neighbors returned home around 4 p.m.

Cox said Jenkins sent her a text message earlier in the day, saying he was off work. She said she didn’t know if he just didn’t go into work that day or if he had the whole day off.

She organized a candlelight vigil in memory of Jenkins Thursday night at the corner of West Horah and Institute streets, where Jenkins was killed.

Cox said the vigil was a way for her and others to gain some closure after Jenkins’ death.

Another vigil is planned for Jenkins on behalf of the Night Crawlers, a local ministry, tonight at 10 on West Horah Street, where the shooting took place.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Salisbury Police at 704-633-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. These calls can be made anonymously.


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