Kinston residents react as teen girl left dead after shooting at Memorial Day Weekend party

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – Golf courses, softball fields, baseball fields, and children playing are all part of what makes Bill Fay Park so popular and family-friendly.

“It’s probably the best park in Kinston, in my opinion,” said Kinston resident, Randy Powell.

However, things turned violent Sunday night around 9:20 p.m., when gunshots were fired during a Memorial Day party.

Police were seen patrolling the area the day after where the shooting happened.

“This was a rare occasion for a violent crime at this park,” said Kinston Police Department Major, Brandon Turner.

Turner says there were about 200 people gathered at the park when they arrived and that they later found 17-year-old Dzyre Gooding, dead at the scene from gunshot wounds.

As someone born and raised in Kinston who frequents the park, Powell says it is heartbreaking.

“It’s terrible for Memorial Day to be used in all senses of terms, like memorial service, memorial for the veterans, memorial for the girl that was killed yesterday, it’s terrible,” Powell added.

Turner says they come to Bill Fay Memorial Park often to do walk-throughs.

“We hope that there is no surge in violent crimes, we’re not going to see that based on this type of incident,” Turner said. “However, it’s always something we are keeping in the back of our minds.”

Councilman Chris Suggs also expressed his condolences for the victim’s loved ones via Facebook post, calling it “senseless violence.”

According to Turner, they are following leads in the investigation.

He also advises people to stay away from drinking and driving, as it is a common trend seen on Memorial Day.

Anyone with information should contact KPD through Crime Stoppers or the Tip 411 app.