On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office announced that a pair of teenage suspects were taken into custody in connection with the shooting of Alex Shirley, the 21-year-old son of a reality TV star, who was shot dead in a North Carolina home last week.
A 17-year-old from Willow Springs and a 16-year-old Garner native are charged with Alex Shirley’s murder and an attempted murder of a 20-year-old woman. Their names have not been released due to their young ages.
What Happened to Alex Shirley?
According to the Charlotte News & Observer, Johnston County sheriff’s deputies received a call at about 8 p.m. last Thursday reporting a shooting at a residence in Garner, a small-town suburb of Raleigh.
Soon after, authorities received another call about two individuals suffering from gunshot wounds in the parking lot of a Sheetz gas station just three miles from the residence.
Upon arrival, authorities found Shirley and pronounced him dead at the scene. A 20-year-old woman was also found with gunshot wounds, though they were not life-threatening, reports indicate. Her name has not been released, and she was still reportedly recovering from her injuries as of Wednesday.
An unnamed resident told the local station WRAL that Alex Shirley and the 20-year-old woman were attending a memorial vigil at a house in the neighborhood for a relative who died in a car accident.
Deputy Capt. Jeff Caldwell said in a news release that investigators believe the shooting occurred at the vigil. Moments later, “multiple suspects” fled the scene in a yellow vehicle, he added.
Authorities did not reveal the evidence that led them to file charges against two teenagers. The slain 21-year-old’s uncle Jason told WRAL the day before the arrests that he was offering a $25,000 reward for relevant information, but it’s not clear if that’s related.
The case remains under investigation, Johnston County officials added.
‘Lizard Lick Towing’ Family Mourns
Alex Shirley’s loved ones wrote a touching tribute in his memory.
“[Alex’s] bubbly personality lit up the room when he walked in,” his mother Lexy wrote. “He was the kind of friend you never knew that you needed but always wanted. His love and laughter were contagious.”
She continued: “Without exception, all those who knew him agree that it’s his generous spirit and his unwavering dedication to helping anyone he could that will forever remain his legacy.”
Alex’s parents Ronnie and Lexy Shirley starred in Lizard Lick Towing on TruTV from 2011 to 2014. The show focused on the family’s towing and repossession business.
“He’s at peace now — waiting on the rest of us to arrive at those gates — we will be there soon Big Shur — and will always cherish the times we had while you were with us son,” the Facebook post read.
The show’s official Facebook page also memorialized the 21-year-old’s death, writing: “The family will always cherish every memory they made with him and never forget the joy he brought into the lives of everyone he met.”
On Monday, Shirley’s grieving family set up a GoFundMe page for their proposed “Alex Shirley Memorial Scholarship.” The Shirleys wrote that the program will be “specifically designed to provide financial assistance and scholarships, so those who need help with overcoming addiction can attend a rehab program.”
As of Wednesday, the fund drive raised just under $3,000 of its $30,000 goal.