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Murder victim's family talks about death

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Murder victim's family talks about death

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- After a shooting and stabbing at a Wilmington night club early Sunday morning, one man is dead and another injured. Tonight the family of the young man killed are speaking out about what happened.

The night before Cornelius "Pete" Blanks died, he was at home in Burgaw celebrating his grandfather's 95th birthday with family.

"He just wanted to go out and have a good time somewhere else, because the party we had for my dad was closing down," Blanks's uncle Jerome Johnson said. "He wanted to go out. Some guys came by, picked him up and went out."

Blanks, 20, was shot and killed outside of Club 609 at 4418 Market Street in Wilmington. His uncle says he thinks gangs were involved.

"He was just in an area where there was some gangs. Some punk ass, coward ass, gang members," Johnson said.

Johnson says Blanks was shot twice in the back after getting into a fight with gang members at Club 609. Police say he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Blanks had a two-year-old son. His cousin Ivey Johnson says its a shame the little boy will now have grow up without a father.

"We were sitting here, and I saw Pete walking over here and his son ran out the door and grabbed him by the legs, and me and my cousin said, 'That little boy loves his daddy,'" Ivey Johnson said.

His family says Blanks played basketball at Pender High School and graduated in 2009. Blanks was working the night shift at a poultry processing plant in Wallace.

Ivey Johnson says Sunday was supposed to be a day of celebration. He says the family was planning to celebrate Blanks's mothers birthday.

"Senseless. It's just senseless," Ivey said. "You know, these kids, they don't value life. They probably went home and saw their mama. That man didn't get to see his mama. His mama didn't get to see him. That's a hurting feeling."

Friends of Blanks have set up a Facebook page to honor his memory.

Robert Lee McGruder, III, 20, of Leland, was stabbed outside of the club. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

So far, no arrests have been made in the investigation.

Robert Lee McGruder, III, 20, of Leland was stabbed. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

So far, no arrests have been made the investigation.

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