A tragic incident unfolded on Sunday at Freedom Park in Rockingham County, North Carolina, where a physician from the UNC Health system was shot and killed. The victim, identified as 40-year-old Gwendolyn Lavonne Riddick, was found next to her car with multiple gunshot wounds. The suspect, 35-year-old John Michael Powell, was apprehended as he attempted to flee the scene. Authorities believe this to be an isolated incident stemming from a domestic dispute between Riddick and Powell, who share a child.
Gwendolyn Lavonne Riddick, a dedicated doctor within the UNC Health system, met a tragic end on Sunday afternoon. The shooting occurred at Freedom Park in Rockingham County, North Carolina, according to the Eden Police Department. When authorities responded to the call about the gunfire, they discovered Riddick suffering from multiple gunshot wounds near her car. Despite being rushed to a local hospital, she succumbed to her injuries shortly after.
The suspect, John Michael Powell, 35, attempted to flee the scene but was swiftly apprehended by law enforcement. Powell now faces charges of first-degree murder and discharging a weapon into occupied property. He has been denied bond and is scheduled to appear in court on August 8th.
UNC Health Rockingham confirmed that Dr. Gwendolyn Lavonne Riddick was an esteemed member of their medical team. She had been working as an OB/GYN with the UNC Women’s Health at Eden team since 2021. In a heartfelt Facebook post, UNC Health expressed their grief and paid tribute to Dr. Riddick, describing her as an extraordinary woman who made a profound impact on the lives of those she cared for.
Eden Police Chief Clint Simpson described the incident as a “senseless and tragic loss of life.” Authorities are urging anyone with relevant information that is related to the case to come forward and assist with the ongoing investigation.