Man arrested for murder of 7-year-old boy shot inside his mother’s car in Hickory, police say

North Carolina

HICKORY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Claremont man has been charged with first-degree murder for the death of a 7-year-old boy shot and killed in his mother’s car in Hickory Wednesday night, authorities tell FOX 46 Charlotte.

Police say Douglas Mason Wilson is accused of shooting into a car in Hickory around 11:12 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, striking 7-year-old Zakylen Harris in the neck.

Authorities said the boy’s mother, Whitney Harris, was driving the vehicle with two other children inside at the intersection of 15th Street and Tate Boulevard SE when the shooting occurred.

She told investigators that she had merged in front of a dark-colored SUV. She then heard yelling from a woman in the SUV before the shot was fired.

Harris is seen on traffic camera video turning right onto Tate Boulevard. The suspect’s SUV is seen following behind. Out of view, a single shot was fired into the back window striking Zayklen in the neck. His one-year-old baby brother was grazed by the bullet and suffered a minor head wound. Another brother, aged six, was also in the backseat and was unharmed.

Harris spoke exclusively with FOX 46 Charlotte Thursday, pleading for whoever did this to turn themselves in.

“Y’all need to just come forward. Y’all killed my baby,” she said. “I don’t know what y’all intentions was. I don’t know what was wrong with y’all. But if y’all got kids of your own and y’all knew something freak happened like that to you, you would want somebody to come forward with something.”

Hickory Police Chief Thurman Whisnant vowed to get justice for Zakylen and his family.

Officials told FOX 46 that Wilson was arrested at a nearby hotel for possession of marijuana before he was charged with murder. He was arrested without incident.

Wilson is being held at the Catawba County Detention Center Facility without bond.

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