ELIZABETHTOWN — On a day of remembrance and celebration of the late Martin Luther King Jr., shots were fired in Elizabethtown in a display of hate and disregard for human life.
“At approximately 4 p.m. a known gang member, Meredith J. Cromartie of Elizabethtown fired several shots from a semi-automatic handgun,” said Elizabethtown Police Chief Kip Hester. “The shots were fired in the area of Gill and MLK Drive in Elizabethtown and were directed toward Jeffery Lewis, a gang member from a ‘set’ other than Cromartie’s.”
Hester added that a vehicle driven by Felicia McGill and occupied by three additional individuals — including an infant — was struck by the gunfire.
“Fortunately, no one in the vehicle was injured,” he said.
The case has been assigned to the Elizabethtown Police Department Investigations Division and is being investigated by Sgt. J. Guyton. Warrants have been obtained for Cromartie on five counts of attempted first-degree homicide, possession of a firearm by felon, going armed to the terror of the public, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and discharging a firearm in the city.
On Tuesday, a search warrant was executed at Cromartie’s residence, but he was not located.
“Officers did seize marijuana, scales, and drug paraphernalia from the residence,” Hester said. “An unnamed suspect was at the residence at the time and was charged with possession with intent to sell/distribute marijuana, manufacture of marijuana, maintaining a dwelling, and possession of drug paraphernalia.”
The unnamed suspect was placed in Bladen County Jail under a $2,200 secured bond.
Hester said Cromartie is well known by the community and law enforcement as being heavily involved in gang and narcotic activity, and has been arrested numerous times.
“The Elizabethtown Police Department will not tolerate such blatant disregard of the law and human life,” Hester said. “When a criminal case involves a gang member, our agency will use all available resources to make certain that the gang member is taken off the street to ensure the safety of our citizens.”
Cromartie remains at-large, and is actively being sought by Elizabethtown Police Department. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 910-862-3125; any information received can be kept confidential.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.