Two suspects have been arrested after allegedly killing a 23-year-old man and critically wounding his grandfather

By KC Baker
December 15, 2020 12:51 PM
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Tristan Stavee
| Credit: facebook

On Nov. 29, a 73-year-old North Carolina man and his 23-year-old grandson drove to Columbus County to buy a 2011 Chevy Camaro they’d spotted on Craigslist.

Now the grandson, Tristan Lavonne Stavee, is dead and his grandfather, George Cleveland Stump Sr., 73, is fighting for his life after they were allegedly robbed and then shot, say police.

"They killed my son and he's only 23,” Leeann Stump, Stump Sr.’s daughter and Stavee’s mother told WRAL.

“And my dad ... they don't know if he's going to make it or not," Stump said. "They were just ambushed, and they stole the money and beat and shot both of them."

On Nov. 29, just after 9 p.m., the Columbus County Sheriff's Office was called to the 100 block of Sellers Town Road in Whiteville after a man was found unresponsive on the ground, the sheriff’s office says in a statement.

Upon arrival, deputies located the grandfather inside a vehicle, suffering from a gunshot wound but still responsive, the sheriff’s office says.

His grandson, the father of two little girls, who was on the ground outside of the vehicle, was also shot.

Whiteville Rescue arrived on the scene and transported Stump to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Stavee died at the scene.

On Thursday, the sheriff's office announced that it had made two arrests in the case.

On Dec. 2, authorities arrested Mark Anthony Nelson, 24, of Tabor City at his home.

Mark Anthony Nelson
| Credit: Columbus county sheriff's office

Nelson is charged with murder, attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

He is being held without bond at the Columbus County Jail.

It is unclear if he has entered a plea or if he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

On Dec. 4, authorities arrested Tamika Shatavia Ford, 29, also of Tabor City.

Tamika Shatavia Ford
| Credit: Columbus county sheriff's office

She is charged with murder, attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon and failure to appear on a misdemeanor.

She received a secured $1,250,500 bond.

It wasn't immediately clear if the suspects had entered pleas or retained attorneys to comment on their behalf.

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As they await their next court date, family members and friends are mourning the loss of Stavee.

In a GoFundMe page Kimberly Hopson set up to help Stavee’s fiancée defray funeral expenses, she wrote, “Mikayla Smith loss her fiancée and best friend Sunday night and will need all the help she can get with funeral expenses and such.

“Tristan was murdered at a young age of 23 for no reason, because a Craigslist scam gone bad and now leaves behind two young daughters that will not have their daddy anymore.

Tristan loved his family dearly and worked hard to provide for them.”