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WPD: Murder victim in wrong place at wrong time


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The community is in shock after a Cape Fear Community College student was shot and killed leaving work last night in downtown Wilmington.

At this point, police say details surrounding the murder are cloudy.

Around 11 p.m. Thursday police say Josh Proutey had just finished work and was heading home. A short time later he was found dead in a parking lot next to the Community Arts Center near 2nd and Orange Streets.

"He was just downtown working and apparently at the wrong place at the wrong time," WPD spokesman Det. Kevin Smith said.

Those who knew Proutey, who was from Clayton, described him as a typical 19-year-old who worked hard and loved his family.

Proutey was leaving the Community Arts Center after work.

Folks who worked with him on the show can't believe what happened.

"It's shocking, and it's just a tough situation for us here," coworker Jason Aycock said. "He was always a hard worker and dedicated to doing what he thought needed to be done, and he was always helping facilitate and make sure everything went off without a hitch."

Though police say this appears to be a random act of violence that claimed Proutey's life, they are still urging everyone to be cautious downtown as the investigation into the murder continues.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Wilmington Police Department at (910) 343-3600, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 531-9845. Information also may be submitted anonymously through Text-A-Tip. Enter Tip708 and the message; send to CRIMES (274637).

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I cant wait until...

People start growing a pair and defending their neighbors and normal citizens.

Someone will brag about this and it will not be passed on to the police.

Black crime downtown is expanding at an alarming rate and needs to be extinguished ASAP by the NHCPD.

There is no excuse for this, of course other than the always offered political correctness and lack of testicular fortitude.

Condolences to the family of this young man who was probably there either playing ball with his killer or volunteering to help make a difference in some young kids life because there are no father figures or positive role models in the community where he was shot from behind by a coward.

You're a complete idiot.

You're a complete idiot.

One: read the

One: read the says why he was there.

Two: Until you know otherwise, you're only painting yourself as an obvious racist by assuming this is "black" crime or that the person who killed him was there "playing ball"...

Might the killer be black? Sure. He/she might also be Hispanic or Asian or white. Black people are not the only criminals...

And even if the killer is black, painting an entire community with one brush because of the actions of a few of its members is a huge error in logic (and humanity and morality).


I am sickened by this. I actually sat in my living room and cried when I heard this. He, nor his family and friends deserved this. It is ridiculous. I do not think him carrying a gun would have helped. If someone is randomly shot there is not much chance of them getting up, grabbing their gun, hunting down their shooter, and returning fire. It is a bit ridiculous. Also, if you're downtown and someone comes up to rob you, and you grab your gun in your pocket instead of your money, how many other people will get shot in the crossfire? These are some things to think about.

Your right

It is ridiculous. And your right, "These are some things to think about." I couldn't believe that someone would actually post such nonsense.

You believe it's better to die at the hands of a criminal, rather than have the means to defend yourself.

Did the police have an opportunity to save this victim. No.
If you leave your defense to a murdering criminal, your going to die.

Better to die in a pile of empty brass, than to cower and be killed by a POS looking for pocket money for crack, too lazy to work.

If you could ask this victim (a young man trying to better himself) if he would have wanted an opportunity to defend himself he would say absolutely yes. But your solution is exactly what happened to this young man. Give up your money, then get killed. Don't want to risk any possible bystanders.

Sincere condolences to the family and hopefully his killer will get caught and punished. Hopefully it will be a righteous jury that believes in severe punishment for a severe crime.


You have no idea what that young man would say and any assumptions you make in order to further your political point is cheap and offensive.

Downtown is dangerous

I was going to have a Christmas party downtown, but several times a week I hear of shootings downtown. I do not want to put myself or my guests in danger, so I will avoid going downtown until something is done about the violence. We need to take back our city from these thugs.

Wow was right in that area

Wow was right in that area at that time. Did not hear any gunshots.I always carry downtown now because you just never know. This young man had e few misdemeanor arrests for marijuana but not much else on his record.

You are Sick!

I am a member of Josh's large family. His mother is my cousin. For you to defame him like this for everyone to see is totally uncalled for. Who in the hell to do you think you are? God! Whoever you are I hope nothing bad ever happens to you or your family. Think about it. Think about Josh's mom and dad. Think about his brothers and sister. And think more about his grandfather who recently lost his wife and before that one of his sons. Maybe you would like to do background checks on them too! The family is in grief and you feel you have the right to post the past record of a minor, a teenager a kid who made a "few" mistakes. In your eyes Mr. or Ms. judge and jury he deserved this and so does his family.

You know what you are? A coward and a big part of the problem!

RIP Josh and my prays to his family.

How dare you judge

Joshua is my brother-in-law. While you had time to do a senseless background check today, we have been grieving with each other and calling one another trying to make sense of this crime. He was a great young man, with so much ahead of him. He had a wicked sense of humor that was only matched by his smile. In between the tears, we have been sharing our stories. There is no comfort for us. That background check was in no way a summary of his life, nor should it be. He made mistakes in his youth, as I'm sure you have. But he learned from them and was working and attending college. He was just trying to get home last night. He will be missed.

I'm confused...what would he

I'm confused...what would he have had to have on his "record" for the killing to be okay? Previous post summed it up pretty well..."you're a moron."

Back ground check on young man murdered in Wilmington

I do not know this person personally but I am sure he was a fine young man just doing his job. We are not put on this earth to judge others, everyone makes mistakes and has done wrong in their life while growing up. Please have respect for this young man that lost his life and for his greiving family.I can't believe that someone would be so heart less to check a background instead of praying for the one's left behind.I must say that if "Pot" is all this young man has experienced while growing up what is the big deal.Who ever took this young mans life has left behind a Dad,Mother,Brothers and a Sister and all of his family and friends has left them with a void that will never be filled again. Obviously you have not lost a loved one. Please let the family have peace while they are suffering the loss of this young man.I feel you owe this family an apology and show some respect.

Are you kidding me?

I've known Josh sense he was in high school with my child. And any infraction he may received with pott was while he was still growing and experiencing his youth.And he paid for it. He was a wonderful young man,who would give you the shirt off his back! And to have some jerk post that about him & do a background check after his death is just plain COMMON! Lets just hope you never did anything bad in your life because one day someone might post it about you! And I hope they DO!

What is wrong with you? Did

What is wrong with you? Did you really need to check his background and post his record? You are a moron!


this is very tragic a young man has lost his life,a family has to bury there son and brother.Now background check is done all the time when the victim is not white or the one that committed the crime the first thing white people do not all is check for criminal activity and don't give a dam about the family.Go figure,is it right no,but it is done.

Post was not meant to demean

Post was not meant to demean the young man in anyway. If you think the investigator assigned to the case has not looked at his record you are sadly mistaken. I was just pointing out that it did not show anything regarding drug sales on his part. Why do you think most people got shot around here. DRUGS!!!!! Is a drug buy gone bad out of the question? These posts are not just for people like you who want to throw out ther feel good thoughts. Some people really want to know why this might have happened and who was involved. Some of us are part of the legal community and have to try to get to the actual causes of a matter and have to look at real evidence. Please pay your respects in person and donate to any fund set up in his name. And another thing, if my 19 year old son was shot and killed I surely would not be looking at internet posts on WWAY.


There are too many shootings downtown,
People need to get concealed carry permits,
If you are armed you wont be harmed.

Yes, if you are armed you

Yes, if you are armed you won't be harmed...

Because no one who carries a gun has ever been killed by a criminal...

That's logical.

A weapons permit would have done him no good

According to city code, it is illegal to have weapons on city property. The community arts center the victim was leaving, was indeed owned by the city. So, a concealed permit would have done him no good.

True, true....

A permit would have done him no good. However, a concealed weapon may have. Especially if every decent, normal person around also had one. Like the shooter had a permit. Permits. Dear God help us. Oh nooooo it's illegal. Like anyone obeys laws anymore.

Let's see...

I get in trouble for having the gun or dead for not having it..... Wow that's a tough one! I hope the shooter was aware of his violation as well. Some people.....

Not so sure........sidewalks

Not so sure........sidewalks are city property and it is legal to carry concealed. I think city property basically means buildings like city hall, police dept. and such. I sure as Hell wouldn't go into a city parking deck anytime, day or night without my gun. As far as cops patrolling the high crime area, I think most feel it is a little too dangerous for even them.

downtown death

This is not the first robbery that has taken place just south of the Central Business District in the past 10 days. Unfortunately this one had a much worse ending than the others did. Here's an idea: Since the WPD has an extreme amount of officers patrolling the Military Cutoff/Eastwood/Airlie/Wrightsville Ave/Rogersville areas in search of low limit DWI's and minor traffic violations, lets take just a few of them and assign them to non-uniformed foot patrols in the robbery/violent crime hotspots. It shouldn't take a lost life for Ralph Evangelous to reevaluate his patrol assignments. Besides, the above mentions areas around Wrightsville Beach are already saturated with State Troopers, sheriff, and WBPD. I hope more than anything that the police catch this person, who is likely responsible for more than one crime, and I hope he suffers. Condolences to the victims family. And finally, I agree 100% with the person who posted about more citizens need concealed carry permits.

armed citizens

The only way to win a fight is not to get in one. However, while it takes two to fight, it only takes one criminal to rob or kill you. I am in favor of responsible, law abiding citizens, that are trained, to have a concelled handgun permit(CHP) and to carry a pistol. The important thing to remember is that having a CHP is not enough. You have to be trained and skilled in a weapons use.


I recently moved to wilmington, bought a home here and relocated with my two children and fiance, and my mother as well, things like this unfortunate life lost along with the horrible things that happened in Connecticut, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all of these victims, there needs to be armed, trained, and uninformed police officers in some situations in more public places in this country period, some of these horrible things could be prevented if people and communities came together and made significant changes when it comes protecting innocent citizens and even children,

and to agree with your point with CHP,those are not enough if you do not really know how to use the weapon you own in a serious situation,

i know about a hundred soldiers getting out of the military, some now jobless, that would pry jump at the opportunity to protect here in our homeland within our communities, whether its un-uniformed armed securtiy in every public school in the country, or its someone volunteering to patrol downtown wilmington 3rd shift with his permitted weapon having a presence to maybe prevent the next robbery,