Victims identified in shooting near Wingate U

Daniel Steven Sheerer and Tony Antwone Knotts


by BORA KIM / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @BoraKimWCNC

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 8:07 PM

WINGATE, N.C. -- Two men were arrested in connection to a deadly shooting near Wingate University on Wednesday night.

Wingate police charged Daniel Steven Sheerer and Tony Antwone Knotts with first degree murder after two people were fatally shot on East Wilson Street near Wingate University. A third victim was airlifted to CMC for treatment.

Thursday afternoon, authorities identified the deceased as 19-year-old Juan Carlos Garcia and 18-year-old Yader Alberto Sandoval Garcia, both of Monroe.

The surviving victim, 18-year-old Eleonel Castrejon Garcia, is listed in fair condition at CMC Main.

The three victims were cousins, police say.

Authorities were made aware of the first scene on East Wilson Street, when a passing motorist flagged down a deputy around 5:45 Wednesday evening. A call then came into Central Command on campus from the Union County Sheriff's Office about the incident. Officials put the university on lockdown at 6:14 p.m. They lifted it around 8:30.

A witness reported a car was stopped in the road near Burris Street.

"It kind of looks like he was traveling, maybe to get help, but when the deputy got here he collapsed outside the vehicle," said Wingate Police Chief Donnie Gay.

It was another passerby, diverted to nearby Zeb Goodman Road who told police he saw another man lying near the entrance to Wingate University Lake, about two blocks away from the first scene. 

Officers eventually found two men, both shot lying on the road. The victims have not been identified. Wingate University says authorities believe there were not any students or employees involved in this incident.
Police found Sheerer and Knotts at the Willow Oaks apartment complex in Monroe. Sheerer and Knotts are also charged with one count each of attempted first degree murder and one count each of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Sheerer and Knotts are being held in the Union County Jail without bond.

Student, Becca Seabock, a junior at Wingate said she was in class when she got the text message alert.

She said she packed up her things and ran into the hallway.

She found a few students to hide with and went into another room, and waited with the lights turned off.

"Yeah, we were scared," she said.  "We didn't know what was going on. The doors didn't lock. I was just looking on twitter the whole time, people said they were hearing shots, sirens and ambulances," she said.

Students Nester Lantigua's dorm is the closest to the first crime scene.

"We were just about to go eat and we heard the sirens, coming off. There was a bunch of cop cars and ambulances, flashing. We were like what is happening?"

Student McKenzi Mocilnikar was in the cafeteria when told about the lockdown.

She spent two hours packed in a room with 200 students.

"They made everyone move from the cafeteria where there are windows, and into the Laverne Banquet Hall where it is enclosed," said Mocilnikar.

"They rushed everyone in there. There were a lot of people, everybody calling their parents, worried. They weren't sure what was going on," she said.

This is the second lockdown at Wingate in several weeks. The university initiated a lockdown then, also as a precaution, after a student reported seeing a man pull out a gun on campus. She told police, she was peering out her dormitory window, when she saw a man pull out what appeared to be a gun during an argument.