October 31, 2014
A man accused of shooting four people in a Greenville commercial area in 2013 was sentenced to 97 years and eight months in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty in Pitt County Superior Court.
Lakim Anthony Faust, 24, pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and seven counts of assault on a law enforcement officer.
Faust appeared in the main courtroom at the Pitt County Courthouse. Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb prosecuted the case and public defender Ann Kirby represented Faust. Judge Jack Jenkins presided.
Law enforcement officers, victims and their families also attended the proceedings. Evidence presented for Jenkins to weigh for sentencing included video from security cameras in the area and from an officer who was wearing a camera.
Faust, who has a histroy of mental illness, was experiencing a psychotic episode during the shooting, according to testimony, but understood the consequences of his actions and could not plead insanity.
More details will be posted later.
Police said at the time of the crime that he used a shotgun to shoot one man at 11:44 a.m. on June 21, 2013, in the parking lot of Kellum Law Firm on Greenville Boulevard. Then he walked across the street to the Walmart parking lot and allegedly shot three more men at close range before police shot him.
Faust was indicted in Sept. 2013 by a Pitt County grand jury on 14 charges, including four counts attempted first-degree murder and three counts assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
The indictments said Faust shot the four men because of their “race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin.”
Faust is black; the four victims are white. A search warrant shows police seized several books on the Muslim faith from Faust’s residence as evidence after the shootings.
Court documents also revealed Faust previously had been an adjudicated delinquent for an offense that would have been a felony if it was committed by an adult.
Maryland records show he was charged with attempted first-degree murder when he was 14, and the case was handled in juvenile court.
On the morning of June 21, Faust armed himself with a pistol-grip shotgun and more than 100 rounds of ammunition, left his apartment at 217 Hartford St., Apt. 3, and walked to the law firm and Walmart with the intent to inflict mass casualties, police said. Officials originally reported they thought the gunman fired at random.
Tim Edwards, 64, a GEICO insurance adjuster, was outside the law firm when he was shot in his face and left arm through the window of his car. The gunman then walked across Greenville Boulevard, entered Walmart parking lot and sprayed more pellets. Vernon Leggett, 69, Carroll Oakes, 70, and Haywood Whichard, 50, were injured.
In three of the four shootings, Faust’s alleged actions left his victim with serious injuries that are “permanent and debilitating,” the indictments said.
Edwards was hospitalized 40 days and underwent surgery to repair his face, he said last month. He lost many teeth on the right side of his face in the shotgun blast and had to get a titanium jaw. Edwards also suffered a stroke and lost some mobility in his right hand.
Pellets struck Leggett in his forehead and hip. He said he laid down in front of vehicles after the first two shots, hoping the gunman would leave, but, instead, the shotgun was brought closer.
“That’s when he shot me in the back,” Leggett said in 2013. “It was pretty traumatic. It was like a high-voltage electrical wire and the shock wave just going through your whole body.” In addition to a silver dollar sized hole in his back, he lost a kidney, his spleen and gallbladder, and spent one month and one day in the hospital.
Oakes was struck at least twice, he said during a People’s Baptist Church service held earlier this month that recognized the first responders.
After exiting his vehicle and walking toward Walmart, “I heard the loudest noise I’d ever heard, and immediately this hand felt like it was on fire,” Oakes said, holding his bandaged hand out in front of church-goers. The gunman shot Oakes again, and he was hospitalized for 12 days.
Whichard said he only suffered superficial injuries.
Following the attacks, police tracked Faust to Hooker Road near Walmart and shot him multiple times after he allegedly pointed his gun at officers.