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Suspect in Gause murder turns himself in, court appearance Monday


For days, Wilmington Police searched for Leroy Bernard Sampson Jr. He was wanted for allegedly shooting and killing 17-year-old Tyshawn Gause. As of Saturday night, they did not have look any further. Sampson turned himself in to authorities.

Tyshawn’s mother, Lakeitha Smith, buried her son the same day Sampson stopped running from the law. “By him turning himself in, he didn’t do that on his own. God made him do that, which is for his best interest,” she said.

The fatal shooting marked the first murder in the city of Wilmington this year. Smith said she has been sitting by the phone hoping to hear an arrest had been made ever since she lost her son. “We are very relieved and I feel like I can get some sleep now.”

Sampson is still awaiting trial, but Smith said she wants justice to come to the person who killed her teenaged son. “I say throw away the key. Really, I say give me the key and let me hold on to it, because you won’t get it back.”

Sampson is in the New Hanover County Jail without bond. He is charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and weapon possession by a felon.

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videoA suspect wanted for Wilmington’s first murder of the year will make his first court appearance Monday morning. The family of victim Tyshawn Gause said they can rest knowing the 17-year-old’s possible killer is in custody.

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