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Zachary Aikens of North Carolina is facing first-degree murder charges after allegedly killing his father before engaging in a shootout with officers

By KC Baker
May 24, 2018 03:00 PM
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Zachary AikensCredit: High Point Police Department
Credit: High Point Police Department

A 21-year-old North Carolina man charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his father also faces four attempted murder charges after allegedly engaging in a shootout with responding officers from the roof of his grandparents’ house, say police.

On Wednesday, police arrested Zachary C. Aikens of High Point in the May 16 death of his father, Gene Aikens, 50, the High Point Police Department said in a news release.

In a 911 call to police during the shootout, the suspect’s grandfather told the operator, “Unfortunately, we’re not surprised,” the Greensboro News & Record reports. “We’ve been praying for him for years. He’s a tormented soul.”

Police arrested Zachary Aikens immediately after he was discharged from a local hospital where he’d been treated for gunshot wounds sustained during the shootout, say police.

He was denied bond on the murder charge and received a $5 million bond for the attempted murder charges.

He remains held at the Guilford County Jail in High Point.

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A 15-year-old friend of Zachary Aikens’ was also charged with first-degree murder in connection with Gene Aiken’s death, say police. The teen — whose name has not been released because he is a minor — was an “active willing participant” in the killing, police allege.

The teen remains at the Guilford County Juvenile Detention Center.

Authorities have not yet discussed a potential motive for the killing.

Authorities were alerted to the shooting on May 16 at about 5:30 a.m., when a woman called 911 saying her brother, Zachary Aikens, showed up at her apartment telling her he had shot their father, say police.

“My brother just showed up to my house about five minutes ago, covered in blood, and told me he shot my dad,” she told dispatchers, the News & Record reports.

He allegedly told her he was going to commit suicide, say police.

The woman alleged her brother brought a gun to her house and threatened to kill himself in front of his 3-year-old niece, the News & Record reports.

The woman told police he allegedly also made threats against their grandparents; she asked authorities to check on them at their house, the News & Record reports.

Before calling 911, she warned her grandparents that her brother had allegedly made threats against them and was heading to their house, the News & Record reports.

While officers checked the perimeter of the grandparents’ house, Zachary Aikens allegedly began shooting at them from the house’s roof with a shotgun, say police.

Officers returned fire, hitting Zachary Aikens before taking him into custody, say police.

No officers or residents were injured in the shootout.

Aikens and the teen have not yet entered pleas. It is unclear if either has retained an attorney who could comment on their behalf.