Chadbourn Community Rallies Around Slain Boy’s Family

A candlelight vigil for Antonio Maultsby Jr.
Monday's candlelight vigil for Antonio Maultsby Jr. drew friends, family and strangers together calling for an end to violence against children.

Around 150 people gathered Monday at the Chadbourn Depot to remember a murdered boy, and show love and  support for the child’s family.

Antonio Maultsby Jr. would have tuned eight Friday. He was gunned down in a driveby shooting at his family’s home on Braswell Road March 16. No arrests have been made in the case.

 The child’s family was surrounded by friends, relatives and complete strangers Monday as community leaders called for protection and love for all children.

Chadbourn Town Councilwoman Colene Kelly led the program. She was brought nearly to tears asking the community to “be there for our children more than anything else.”

“Listen to these babies,” County Commissioner Barbara Featherson said, “watch them, hug them, kiss them. Let them know they are loved, because if you don’t address trauma, trauma will appear in a different form.

Sheriff Bill Rogers told the crowd that offers to help have come from across the state.

“My heart hurts deeply for all these babies.”

Young Antonio was a student at Chadbourn Elementary. Featherson urged education professionals to be ready whenever there was a need.

“We don’t know when or if it will show up, but we need to be there for them,” she said.

Chadbourn Mayor Phillip Britt said that he was reassured that people turned out for the vigil, and are cooperating with investigators.

“There are still plenty of fighting the good fight to do the right thing,” he said.

Sheriff W.A. “Bill” Rogers said his office is working full time on the killing, and that they have received offers from across the state. “People want to help,” Rogers said.

Vickie Davis, Antonio’s aunt, spoke for the family.

“We just want to see justice for our boy,” she said as she comforted his mother, Felicia Rose.

In the closing remarks, Rev. Timothy Lance called on the crowd to assist law enforcement in the investigation –not out of a sense of vengeance, but “out of love” for others.

“It’s heartbreaking to see one so young suffer for something that he had nothing to do with,” Lance said.

“We challenge everyone, if you know something, say something. We need to move beyond the point of silence. If we are ever going to see changes happen within our community, we have to stand together and we have to speak out. Not violence, love.”

Young Antonio was eulogized Tuesday (today) at the Brunswick-Waccamaw Association Hall in Whiteville, with burial in the Belvue Cemetery in Chadbourn. Donations to the family can be sent to S&L Funeral Home of Fair Bluff.

A $4,200 reward is being offered by the sheriff’s office for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects in the case. Call 910.640.6551 or go to columbussheriff.com and leave an anonymous tip.

Speakers called on those in attendance to support and protect children who might experience trauma from the March 16 slaying.
About Jefferson Weaver 1973 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].