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Doctor dies after shooting at Eden, NC park


John Michael Powell
John Michael Powell


EDEN, NC – A doctor was shot at a park in Eden and later died at the hospital on Sunday.


At around 2:44 p.m., Eden Police officers were dispatched to Freedom Park for a shooting that was in progress.


Police say they got there a minute later and found Gwendolyn Lavonne Riddick, 40, of Eden, next to her car suffering from numerous gunshot wounds.


Officers provided aid to Riddick until Rockingham County EMS arrived and transported her to UNC-Rockingham, where she was pronounced dead at 3 p.m.


UNC Health Rockingham said Riddick was a member of the UNC Women’s Health at Eden team since joining as an OB/GYN in 2021.


“Dr. Riddick was an extraordinary woman who made a difference in the lives of everyone she touched,” The health system said in a Facebook post. “We will remember her and the legacy of resilience and compassion she leaves behind. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones. We will continue to provide support for our teammates and patients in the days to come.”


John Michael Powell, 35, of Newport News, Virginia, was arrested as he was fleeing from the area in a vehicle, according to police.


Investigators say they were able to determine the isolated incident was a result of ongoing domestic issues between Riddick and Powell, who have a child in common.


Powell has been charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of discharging a weapon into an occupied property.


He was issued no bond on all his charges and is scheduled to appear in Rockingham County District Court on August 8.


Anyone with information concerning this incident are asked to contact Detective Tyson Scales or Lieutenant Andrew Kenyi at 336-623-9755 (24 hour) or 336-623-9240. Anyone who would like to provide information and remain anonymous is asked to call Rockingham County Crimestoppers at 336-349-9683.



Gwendolyn Lavonne Riddick
Gwendolyn Lavonne Riddick

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