Update: 4th suspect identified in Greenville's first homicide of

Update: 4th suspect identified in Greenville's first homicide of 2014

Posted: Updated:
Brandon Maldonado Brandon Maldonado
James Murray James Murray
Earl Ward Earl Ward
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The Greenville Police Department charged a fourth man in connection to a homicide near Rosemont Drive.

Police have arrested 20-year-old Malik Weston. Police say Weston was arrested the night of the fatal shooting on drug charges. On Thursday, police charged Weston with three counts of attempted murder as a result of their investigation.

Police believe Weston was the man seen running from a car crash on County Home Road. The car accident is where police found Zachery Russian suffering from a gunshot wound. Russian was transported to Vidant Medical Center where he died.

Police say the fatal shooting is still under investigation.

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The three suspects in Greenville's first homicide of the year appeared in court Monday morning.
The men, all charged with murder, were given bonds. Their shooting involvement over the weekend left one man dead.

Greenville police say it happened just after 9 o'clock Saturday night off of County Home Road.  It all started with a call for shots fired at Rosemont apartments.
When officers arrived to investigate, another call came in about a car accident nearby. Police say that's where they found 20-year-old Zachery Russian with a gunshot wound. Russian died Sunday morning.
Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden says there isn't a threat to the community, yet this is the result of an ongoing problem, illegal drug use.

"I think it's a wake up call to our whole community. These are folks that live amongst us and are part of our community that are indeed in these dangerous dangerous environments dealing with narcotics," said Aden.

The three men are 18-year-old, Brandon Lee Maldonado, 36-year-old Earl Ward, and 41-year-old James Bernard Murray.
Maldonado is being held under a one million dollar bond, Ward is under two million dollar bond and Murray is under 500-thousand dollar bond.

Earl Ward's brother, Kevin Ward, says this incident was not drug related and was self defense.

"The guy went there to hurt my brother,and he was just trying to protect himself from the heinous crime. He did what he knew was best. He did stay at the scene and he called the police officer. As for the drug transaction, I don't think that's correct," said Kevin.

Chief Aden says this weekend homicide is a reminder of why the department takes a high priority when it comes to drugs.

"I stand fast that that is a high departmental priority for us, and cases like this highlight why deliberate strategy to focus on drugs and drug users is critical to create a safe community for all," said Aden. 

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