Rashiaya Melton was an 18-year-old high school student who was killed during a Halloween party at a barn in Cedar Grove, North Carolina.
At around 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2018, police officers with the Cedar Grove Police Department were dispatched to the Smokehouse Valley Farm at 5223 Mill Creek Road after receiving a 911 call about a shooting.
When officers arrived on the scene, there was a large group of people leaving.
As they searched the area, they found Melton, a senior at Cedar Ridge High School, behind a barn, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. She was unconscious but still breathing at the time, according to WRAL.
A medical helicopter transported Melton to UNC Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Melton was pronounced dead the following day, Oct. 29, 2018.
An investigation revealed that Melton was attending a Halloween party at the Smokehouse Valley Farm. At some point, a fight broke out that resulted in a shooting.
Melton was shot in the head, and a second person was also caught in the crossfire. The victim was a 21-year-old male who was shot in the leg. He was treated at UNC Hospital as well and later released.
ABC 11 reported that the party was an advertised event, and about 300 teens and adults were in attendance. Police officials said drugs and alcohol were found at the scene.
Melton’s twin sister told CBS17 in 2018 that she doesn’t “even know what I’m going to do without her because I lost my little brother six months ago, and I still haven’t gotten over that.”
According to reports, their 8-year-old brother went into cardiac arrest at their home and lost his life.
Melton’s sister went on to say that she wants everyone to know that “my sister did not deserve that. Like, she was a good person.”
The victim’s friends described her as a “fun-loving and intelligent” person who was planning to attend North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro after graduation.
A few days after the fatal shooting, police arrested then-19-year-old Xzavier D’Andre Gibson and Takeem “Mudd” Haywood Norris Turrentine, then 23.
They were charged with one count of murder.
In a news release, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said:
“The death of this young lady is heartbreaking and completely senseless. I am proud of my deputies’ continuing efforts to bring Rashiaya’s killers into custody and to have done so with such speed.”
In March 2022, Gibson and Turrentine were convicted of discharging a firearm into occupied property and were sent to prison.
Gibson is expected to be released in 2027, and Turrentine is expected to be released in 2025.