Family grieves slain man
By Nathan Hardin
EAST SPENCER — Travis Hinds had been at the Cedar Street house less than five minutes when a gunshot to his head killed him instantly.
His now widowed wife, Tyquisha Hinds, said she got the call about 3:45 a.m.
“Poo called me and said he might have some bad news,” she said.
Later, he called and said he did have some bad news.
Travis had been out Sunday morning with two friends his wife knows as Poo and Jerome. Tyquisha said she didn’t know their full names.
They stopped at 319 Cedar Street for alcohol. Travis Hinds’ stepfather-in-law, Allen Hines, said the residence was used as an “after hours” place for bootlegging liquor.
“I thought he was going to say he got shot and they had to take him to the hospital or something,” Tyquisha said. “I didn’t expect him to say he was dead.”
Travis was shot twice: once in the back of the head, family members said.
No one had been arrested in the murder Monday. East Spencer Police said they are still investigating but released little information.
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Tyquisha Hinds flipped through a scrapbook Monday, looking at pictures of her and her husband.
She hadn’t slept since the shooting. She’d been to the pharmacy for medication to help her rest and to the pediatrician for her 6-month-old son’s checkup.
The baby boy, Taron, was born just after Travis and Tyquisha were married.
The two were wed April 1. They moved in with her parents shortly after while Travis took classes at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to finish his GED.
Hines had been urging his stepson-in-law to become a chef, he said. Travis was considering culinary school.
“He was a great cook,” Hines said.
Hines said he thinks whoever shot Travis knew him and knew about his family.
“I’m sure whoever did it knew him, knew he was married, knew he had a child,” he said. “They just didn’t care. How does someone make someone a widow at 20 years old?”
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The brick Cedar Street home where Travis died was empty Monday evening.
A red cooler sat on the small front porch. No one answered the door.
Peggy Young, who lives next door, said she didn’t see anyone early Sunday, but she heard loud noises.
“I heard the racket,” Young said.
Young said there are parties at the house occasionally, but “it’s not an everyday thing.”
She called Hinds’ death “a shame,” adding “anything could have prevented it.”
She said she hasn’t heard anything about who did it, but said she tries not to involve herself too much with her neighbors.
“I live here. I don’t socialize,” she said. “I speak to my neighbors, but I don’t visit them house to house.”
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Hines sat for hours with his stepdaughter in a car in front of the Cedar Street house after getting the early morning phone call Sunday.
He said investigators on the scene didn’t tell the family much. At about 8:30 a.m., the medical examiner came and picked up Travis’ body.
“He had a lot of people that disliked him,” Hines said. “He was shot at before when he was on Elm Street.”
Hines said people might not have liked him because of his tattoos.
“He came from California,” he said. “The tattoos on him — I don’t know if they thought he was in a gang in California. I don’t know.”
He said Travis “always had to look over his shoulder.”
“He didn’t mess with anybody,” he said. “He really didn’t.”
Travis was a member at Love Christian Center in East Spencer, family members said.
Bishop Ronald Hash called Travis “very quiet” and said he was “really getting started in life.”
“He was always a pleasant person to be around,” Hash said. “He smiled all the time and he never said no.”
Hash said Travis had recently spoken to the church congregation one Sunday morning. Tyquisha said he told her he wanted to be baptized this week.
“I didn’t know he was that well-versed in the Bible,” Hash said. “He helped others around the church a lot.”
Family members said Travis was a proud father and helped take care of his son during the day.
“I just know that baby is going to miss his father,” Tyquisha’s mother Tiffany Hines said. “He knows his father’s not here.”
East Spencer Police are asking that anyone with information call 704-637-1660.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.