When it happened, it was Clayton’s first homicide in two years and it shook the community. A 25-year-old was shot and killed in the middle of the night during a home invasion. Clayton Police detectives never gave up their search to find the killers of Garrett Bridges and now, after almost four years of relentless police work, they have a murder suspect in custody.
Over the weekend, and more than 400 miles away, Clayton Police arrested 29-year-old Terrelle Andrews in Macon, Georgia and he will be extradited back to Johnston County to stand trial for the July 2016 murder of Bridges.
“This was the Clayton Police Department’s only remaining unsolved murder,” said Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand. “Credit goes to our great team, in particular Lead Detective Jason Linder and Sergeant Brian Temple, who invested hundreds, if not thousands, of hours over the last four years into solving this case. This arrest is the culmination of all of their hard work and dedication to not only the family of the victim, but the residents of the Mitchiner Hills neighborhood and the entire Clayton community.”
The shooting happened around 1 a.m. on July 2, 2016 on Herndon Court. Investigators say Bridges was asleep in the living room of the home when two people in masks forced their way inside through a back door. Children were asleep in a nearby room, but luckily were unharmed. The suspects fired a handgun and Bridges was killed by a single gunshot.
Garrett Bridges family, including his mother, father and grandmother, released this statement in reaction to the news of the arrest in their son’s murder: “We struggled with some of his choices, but we loved Garrett and miss him. Maybe this arrest will lend our family a way to deal with our hurt and pain. We are so thankful for Detective Linder – he did not give up. This case could have easily never been solved – people weren’t talking, they weren’t sharing information…but Linder simply did not quit. It was our child, not his, but he moved in a way as if it was his son. That is huge to our family…he got into the weeds and really worked this case…and you just don’t know what that means. While we believe there should be consequences for hurting anyone, we feel sorry for the suspect and for what his family and his mother are now going to endure. No mom wants their children to do something atrocious to someone else.”
This case is still on-going and more arrests are likely.
The Clayton Police Department thanked various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies who assisted in this case and this weekend’s arrest including the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office.
2016 scene photos by John Payne