Arrests made in McDowell County Recreation Center shooting

After a week long investigation, warrants for arrest were obtained by Marion police investigator Sgt. Rick Gutierrez for Manual Valdez Jr. for the shooting that occurred outside of McDowell County Recreation Center located at 25 Academy street in Marion on August 24th .

The investigation into the shooting concluded that on August 24th. Valdez was in a vehicle along with several other passengers at the recreation center. Jake Price, Jodyn Mitchell, and Mark Schneider were all outside on the sidewalk when Valdez reportedly drove by and began shooting at them with a small caliber handgun. Valdez and his occupants then fled the scene. Price was the only person struck by the rounds that were fired. Price was struck once in the arm and once in the leg. Mitchell and Schneider were not hit by any rounds. Price was transported to McDowell Hospital for non-life threatening injuries and later treated and released for the gunshots.

During the investigation into the shooting it was discovered that Valdez and his passengers were acquainted with Price previously. It was determined through interviews that Valdez and some of the passengers, had attempted to rob Price at a home on Shell road earlier in the week on Aug. 21 before shooting Price outside the county recreation department on the night of Aug. 24.

Once Marion investigators learned of the attempted robbery outside of the city limits, McDowell County Sheriff Detective Billy Brown joined the case. Over the last several days Detective Billy Brown has charged the following individuals with 1st degree burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon for the incident on August 21st. Each individual listed below received $150,000 secured bond.

Ahamad Washington
B/M 16YOA
Marion, NC

Zyan Logan
B/M 19 YOA
Marion, NC

Joseph Hardy
B/M 19 YOA
Marion, NC

John Vestal
W/M 17 YOA
Morganton, NC

Washington, Logan, and Hardy were all present inside the vehicle with Valdez on the night of the 24th when the shooting occurred.

On September 6, 2018 at approximately 5:20PM Manuel Valdez Jr 18, turned himself into the Marion Police Department. Manuel is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, discharging a firearm within an enclosure, robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree burglary. No bond information is available at this time.

The Marion Police Department would like to thank the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office and staff of the McDowell Recreation Center for their assistance in this investigation.