ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WPDE) — Funeral arrangements have been planned for 5 -year-old Alva “AJ” Oxendine, Jr., who was shot and killed last week near the Red Springs community of Robeson County.
The L.E. Floyd Funeral Home says AJ’s funeral takes place Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at the St. Joseph Miracle Revival Center in Red Springs.
AJ was shot during a shootout resulting from a fight between multiple people, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said the child was struck by a bullet while sitting in the back of his mother’s vehicle. His brother was also in the back seat, Wilkins says.
AJ was transported by personal vehicle to the Red Springs Police Department and then transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Red Springs police administered CPR on the child until EMS arrived, Wilkins said.
So far, there have been no arrests, but deputies say they’re working around the clock to solve the child‘s killing.
The child’s fellow students and teachers at Peterson Elementary School in Red Springs where he is in kindergarten are having a tough time with his death. AJ‘s teacher, Renee Watson, said he was a thoughtful and loving student. His principal, Melinda Sellers, said it’s hard to help small children to understand death and they’re doing all they can to work with them through this tough time.
A teddy bear sits in AJ’s seat in the class as a means to help students cope with his death. They can hug it when they think of AJ. These students can also write messages to him on a table near the teddy bear.
The school also plans to add AJ’s name to a memorial at the entrance along with seven other students who have died over the years.
The Public Schools of Robeson County released the following statement on AJ‘s death:
“With the recent death of an innocent 5-year-old child; we must remember it is our responsibility to uplift the lives of children and not allow outside sources to interfere and negatively impact the future of our youth. We should work together to protect and advocate for all our children so that a child’s dreams does not end before they have a chance to begin.”
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and Juvenile Division is investigating the death of Oxendine. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3170.