GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A man charged with murder in the death of a Gastonia teen appeared in court Friday afternoon.
Rodney Davis, 32, is charged with the murder of 17-year-old Donnika Wallace who was shot and killed Thursday night.
Relatives of the suspect and the victim were in court Friday afternoon.
Davis' relatives say the shooting was an accident and that he isn't the kind of person that would kill someone. If convicted, the judge said, Davis could face the death penalty.
According to the Gastonia Police Department, two groups of people were walking towards each other on Airline Avenue around 7:20 p.m. on Thursday when an altercation ensued.
One person from each group got into a fight. Davis allegedly pulled out a gun and started firing shots at the other group.
According to police, Wallace started running away from the location and was struck by at least one of the bullets.
Police said Wallace ran about 50 to 60 yards before collapsing onto the ground. She died at the scene.
Davis is being held at the Gaston County Jail without bond until a probable cause hearing which is scheduled for June 17th.
Wallace's family members were in the courtroom today. They said this after they saw the person charged with killing their relative.
"It's very sad," Victim's cousin Debra Gilliam said. "To the point, the fact is you don't have the right to take nobody's life for nothing, for no reason and then you stand before the judge like you don't care."
Davis' family claims their relative shouldn't be charged with murder.
"You would have to provoke my brother to do something like that," The victim's sister said. "I'm sorry it happened to her. Like I said, it was accidental. I don't believe he would shoot her. My brother wouldn't do nothing like that."