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Deadly Blaze: A woman was killed and three others taken to a hospital in an early-morning house fire in Winston-Salem on Sunday. Page A4

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Stepfather, mother of shooting victim want his killer brought to justice


WINSTON-SALEM — The stepfather of a Greensboro man who died from his wounds after a shooting last week in Winston-Salem wants witnesses to help police arrest his stepson’s killer and bring him to justice.

“I wish police would expedite this investigation and bring this man who killed my son to justice,” Jeffrey Waldo of Greensboro said Saturday. “This man needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Fred Douglas Hawkins III, 26, died Tuesday in a hospital after he was shot at a party on Cody Drive in Winston-Salem May 18. Another man, Jalen Chavon Cockerham, 23, of Ogburn Avenue in Winston-Salem, was shot dead at the scene.

Five other people were treated at hospitals for gunshot wounds. An eighth person was pistol-whipped, Winston-Salem police said.

Investigators say that witnesses to the shooting haven’t cooperated with police so far in their attempt to arrest the suspects involved.

Police officials said Friday that the Cody Drive shooting and earlier ones in the 2400 block of Ivy Avenue on April 13 and outside Nova Lounge on April 7 in which seven people were shot at 515 N. Cherry St., were committed by the same people.

Police are encouraging witnesses to all three shootings to come forward with information.

Waldo said he strongly urges the witnesses to the Cody Drive shooting to tell police what they know about what happened.

“A lot of them (witnesses) are probably scared for their life,” Waldo said. “They need to help the police find this person.”

Waldo and his wife, Tonya, strongly refuted a statement by Winston-Salem police that Hawkins might have had a gang affiliation.

“My child wasn’t associated with no kind of gang stuff,” said Tonya Waldo, Hawkins’ mother. “When I saw that, that hurt my heart so bad.”

Police Lt. Gregory Dorn, who supervises the city’s detectives, told the Winston-Salem Journal on Wednesday that Hawkins was a gang subject of interest. There were several gang members in the area at the time of the shooting.

“We don’t know if this was gang-on-gang or just a beef between members,” Dorn said at that time.

Dorn clarified his statements Saturday.

“We were not calling him a gang member,” Dorn said of Hawkins. “He’s isn’t a certified gang member. He (was) known to have associated with validated gang members. He (was) known to hang out with gang members. That is what I meant to say.”

Dorn welcomed the Waldos to call him and discuss the case.

No arrests have been made connected to the Cody Drive shooting, Dorn said.

“I’m not going to release any suspects’ names at this point,” Dorn said.

Nevertheless, the Waldos reiterated that their son wasn’t a gang member.

“That’s not fair,” Tonya Waldo said of the police description of her son. “They have damaged his name.”

Jeffrey Waldo said his stepson despised gangs.

Waldo and his wife believe that police may have mistaken the name of their son’s musical group, Plug Brothers, to be associated with gangs. Waldo said that Hawkins had registered that name with the city of Winston-Salem as a music production company. Hawkins was an accomplished hip hop artist who wrote songs and produced music videos, his stepfather said. He formed the Plug Brothers with his two brothers and two friends.

Hawkins, who attended Mount Tabor High School, grew up in the North Hills neighborhood in Winston-Salem, his mother said. He loved his 3-year-old daughter, Kalin.

Jeffrey Waldo said he last saw Hawkins the Friday before the shooting as he left their Greensboro home. Hawkins initially left the house without wearing a T-shirt, but his daughter told him he would get sick if he walked outside without a shirt. He returned to the house and put on a shirt, his stepfather said.

After he was shot and was being treated in a hospital, his daughter thought her father was sick because he didn’t wear a T-shirt, Jeffrey Waldo said.

“That’s hard for us to even acknowledge, but that is what’s in her head,” Waldo said.

Hawkins worked for Waldo’s home construction company in Greensboro and often attended the Mercy Outreach Church of Deliverance in High Point with the Waldos, Jeffrey Waldo said. Hawkins also provided food and clothes to homeless people at the Samaritan Ministries shelter on Patterson Avenue in Winston-Salem. He also provided food to some fatherless children, his stepfather said.

Hawkins would often take his daughter and children without fathers in their homes to a fast-food restaurant for a meal, Jeffrey Waldo said. Kalin stills asks Jeffrey Waldo when is she going to Chuck E. Cheese’s, he said.

“He was a loving kind of guy,” Waldo said of Hawkins. “He wasn’t a troublemaker. He would make a person smile.”

Local authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the Cody Drive shootings. Anyone with information about any of the three shootings can call Winston-Salem police at 336-773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800. Crime Stoppers of Winston-Salem is on Facebook.

Hot daze of spring: Today's forecast high is about 13 degrees higher than normal

GREENSBORO — If you think it’s hotter than usual, you’re right.

Today’s high temperature in Greensboro is expected to be 93 degrees, which is about 13 degrees higher than normal, according to meteorologist Chrissy Cockrell of the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

“The normal (highs) are actually in the 80s — 80-81 — so it is pretty warm,” Cockrell said. “Summer is coming.”

And the sunny forecast makes it a good day to get out and participate in Memorial Day activities or spend some time poolside, just don’t forget to stay hydrated.

There’s only a slight chance of showers tonight, with lows around 70, Cockrell said.

Tuesday also looks sunny, with highs around 94 degrees and lows around 70.

Wednesday looks like it will be even hotter, with a high near 96.

“It is pretty warm,” Cockrell said, “but we aren’t expected to break any records, so that’s good.”

And what is the record high in Greensboro for today? It was 100 degrees in 1911, Cockrell said. The record low was 40 degrees, set in 1961.