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Man arrested in gang-related shooting

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
A man sought in the attempted murder of a Salisbury teenager is now in police custody.
Jerome Van Collins Jr. was arrested around 10 a.m. Tuesday. He was hiding in his mother’s home at 516 South Ellis St.
Collins is charged with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Anthony Brian Smyre, 17, of Proctor Drive, Monday afternoon.
Police had been searching for Collins whose last known address was Concord. Police had issued a bulletin describing the the vehicle he was believed to be driving, a 1999 blue Dodge Durango with license plate YPZ-1891.
Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said officers went to the South Ellis Street address where Collins’ mother resides.
While at the house, they saw the Dodge Durango drive by and immediately did a traffic stop. Collins’ mother, Lavella Collins, was driving the Durango.
Wilhelm said she gave consent to search the house. When officers tried to gain entry using her key to open the door, it was barricaded.
They forced entry and found Jerome Collins hiding inside.
He did not offer any resistance.
Collins is also wanted on weapons charges in New York.
According to police, Smyre, Collins and a third person, whom police declined to identify, were walking down Old Plank Road ó off Brenner Avenue ó when the shooting occurred around 4:15 p.m. Monday.
Smyre was shot in the neck and torso by multiple gunshots from a small caliber pistol, possibly a .22 caliber.
Wilhelm said Smyre was conscious and able to talk to police at the scene.
The third person on the scene also talked to police.
Wilhelm declined to elaborate on what police were told.
He said the shooting was gang-related, indicating that all three are members of the Bloods.
Smyre was taken to Regional Medical Center and later transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The hospital had no information on his condition today.
The shooting is the third gang-related shooting incident in recent months.
On Sunday, Nov. 15, a church bus from First Calvary Baptist Church was caught in crossfire near Civic Apartments. Although the bus was struck by bullets, no one was hurt.
Riders said as many as six people were exchanging gunfire.
Police have not identified any suspects or made arrests.
On Nov. 19, three people were wounded in a house on South Jackson Street as they exchanged gunfire.
Dennis Alexander, 24, of Gold Hill Circle, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was in a Winston-Salem hospital for several weeks.
Darryl Sylvester Price, 19, of 1210 W. Horah St., and Raylin LaShawn Woodruff, 18, of 1333 Standish St., also sustained wounds.
They were treated and released at Rowan Regional Medical Center.
Price and Woodruff told police Alexander came in the house shooting. Alexander has since told police a different version of what happened.
No arrests have been made.

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