Man Held for Shooting 2 People in Front of N. Carolina Courthouse is Released; Authorities say he Was Not the Gunman

Ontarious Montre Lewis, 23, is seen in an undated picture released by the Nashville Police Department in Nashville, North Carolina October 28, 2014. (CREDIT: REUTERS/NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Ontarious Montre Lewis, 23, is seen in an undated picture released by the Nashville Police Department in Nashville, North Carolina October 28, 2014. (CREDIT: REUTERS/NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

A man held on suspicion of shooting two people in front of a courthouse in North Carolina has been released by authorities, who said on Wednesday he was not the gunman.

Police kept up their search for the shooter who critically wounded two men in front of the Nash County courthouse on Tuesday morning, police said, adding their initial suspect, Ontarious Montre Lewis, 23, was cleared after questioning.

“He was definitely not the person that did any shooting,” Nashville, North Carolina, Police Chief Thomas Bashore said of Lewis. “Does he have some involvement in the whole process? I don’t know right now.”

Nashville is about 50 miles northeast of Raleigh.

Both victims remained in critical condition on Wednesday, authorities said. Police identified them as Donte’a Evans, who was hit in the leg and hand, and Lamar Ricks, who was struck in the back.

Investigators have not identified a motive in the shooting, but it does not appear to have been random, Bashore said.

Authorities are seeking another man, identified as Demond Levar Morris, 36, who they have said may have been an accomplice.

Police increased a reward for tips leading to arrests and convictions in the case to $10,000 from $3,000 on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Jeffrey Benkoe and Peter Cooney)

SOURCE: Reuters

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