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Juvenile charged with murder of Knightdale woman

Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps

Knightdale authorities have announced murder charges against a 17-year-old male suspect for his role in the killing of Shinaka Ocean Earth.

On Nov. 8, 2023,  around 7:30 p.m., police officers responded to a ‘shots fired’ call at 617 Twain Town Drive. The arriving officers found the home riddled with bullets and discovered that Earth had been struck by the gunfire while sitting on her front porch. First responders attempted life-saving measures, but Earth, a 40-year-old mother of three children, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps previously noted the complex nature of the investigation.

“Detectives have worked tirelessly to identify suspects and piece together the details surrounding Earth’s murder,” the town of Knightdale said in a press release. “Investigators presented their findings to the Wake County District Attorney’s Office earlier this week, and prosecutors authorized charges against the juvenile for one open count of murder.”

Capps said he appreciates the cooperation that police have received in the investigation.

“From the beginning, this case demanded a meticulous and calculated approach,” Capps said. “Perseverance, teamwork, and cooperation played a key role in the investigation. We cannot undo this senseless act of violence, but we are grateful to be able to begin the process of bringing closure for the victim’s family.”

The suspect is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility on a secured custody order.

Knightdale Police confirmed that the investigation is still active as detectives continue to pursue leads and identify additional suspects.

Police said that while state law prohibits the release of certain information in juvenile cases, the police department plans to provide updates as they are available.