The mother of a Hickory man charged with murder in the shooting of 7-year-old Zakylen Harris said there were as many as three other people in the car with her son on the night of the shooting.
Callie Smith, 42, is the estranged mother of 23-year-old Douglas Mason Wilson, who was charged with first-degree murder last week.
She said she was familiar with two people who were in the car with her son at the time of the shooting and there was likely a third, as well.
The police have not announced additional suspects in the case but have said they still have a lot of work to do.
“We have no additional information to release at this time,” Hickory police Victim and Community Services Coordinator Chrystal Dieter said Tuesday morning. “This is an ongoing investigation, and we must maintain the integrity of the case.”
Smith said she provided the police with videos and photos of Wilson’s car last week while authorities were searching for suspects in the shooting.
She said she first became aware that Wilson might have been involved in the shooting when another one of her sons called Thursday afternoon. That son told her people had reached out to him saying they recognized Wilson’s car in a video put out by police.
“I probably turned white as a ghost,” Smith said. “It felt like my whole life just left my body, and I just processed it.”
She said she called her best friend to talk it through. Smith said she had a feeling Wilson might be involved in some way so she called police.
Wilson was arrested later that evening at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on unrelated charges. He would be charged with first-degree murder soon after.
Smith has spoken to Wilson since his arrest. While he has not said he fired any shots, Smith said, he expressed sorrow over the death.
“People may not believe that or care to hear that, but he is extremely apologetic,” Smith said. “He said over and over and over that it was an accident, and it is what it is. He’s there, and he’s not going to act like it didn’t happen. He’s going to accept responsibility in whatever way that happens.”
Smith offered her condolences to Harris’ family and said Wilson does the same.
Anyone with information on the case can call 828-328-5551.
Kevin Griffin, email@example.com, is the city of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.