Gunfire during a memorial balloon release last week led to the death of the son of the star of a North Carolina-based reality TV show.
The balloon release was being conducted in memory of a man named Xavier Smith, who had been killed in a car crash last week, according to WRAL-TV.
WRAL reported that the shooting took place about 8 p.m. Thursday on the front lawn of a home, after which several men fled the scene in a car.
Johnston County Sheriff’s Office deputies said they later received a call that there were shooting victims in the parking lot of a Sheetz convenience store about three miles from the home, according to WRAL.
When deputies arrived, they found Harley Alexander Shirley, 21, of Clayton, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the News & Observer.
Ronnie Shirley, owner of reality TV show-famous Lizard Lick Towing, has confirmed that his 21-year-old son, Harley Alexander Shirley, died in a shooting. https://t.co/yXLnXCaAs4
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) February 20, 2022
He is the son of Ronnie Shirley, star of “Lizard Lick Towing,” which aired on TruTV from 2011 to 2014.
A 20-year-old woman who had been shot was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening wounds, Capt. Jeff Caldwell said in a news release, the News & Observer reported. A third person suffered injuries but was not shot.
Ronnie Shirley posted a farewell message to his son on Facebook.
What Happened To Harley Shirley? Lizard Lick Towing Ronnie Shirley Son Died https://t.co/PgNbTRAq0e
— Celebrities Facts (@CelebritiesFac6) February 19, 2022
“He’s at peace now – waiting on the rest of us to arrive at those gates- we will be there soon Big Shur – and will always cherish the times we had while you were with us son,” he posted.
Jason Shirley, Harley Shirley’s uncle, said he is offering a $25,000 reward for information about the crime.
The son of Lizard Lick towing Harley Alexander Shirley was killed, we ask their privacy be well respected and your condolences offered to the family at this time, according to their needs. https://t.co/uethy9RvlB #TheOcenasekNews
— Nathan Ocenasek (@TheOcenasekNews) February 19, 2022
WRAL reported that Smith’s mother, whose name was not reported, called for an end to violence.
“I had left before it happened, but it was right after the balloon release, people were leaving,” Smith’s mother said. “The service was peaceful, I don’t know what happened.”
Investigators are unsure of the motive for the shooting.