On Monday October 24, 2022 at about 3:15 pm, the Gaston County Police Department responded to the 300 block of Robinson Clemmer Road near Dallas, NC, in reference to a vehicle accident. Responding public safety officials located a vehicle off the roadway. Bullet holes were observed in the driver’s window. Three people were located deceased in the vehicle.
Initial reports indicated the incident had occurred between 3:00-3:15 pm today; closer to the time the incident was reported to the Gaston County Communications Center but detectives determined the shooting and subsequent vehicle wreck occurred prior to 1:30 pm today. A social media post was located showing the vehicle wrecked at approximately 1:50 pm. No reports were made to law enforcement until 3:13 pm.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Darlene Hardin, White Female, 9/11/1965, of Corvette Lane in Kings Mountain, NC.
The front seat passenger was identified as Benjamin Barett Simmons, White Male, 6/3/1957, of Hargrove Ave in Gastonia, NC.
The backseat passenger was identified as David James Bright, White Male, 6/21/1988, of Corvette Lane in Kings Mountain, NC. Mr. Bright has been identified as the suspect in this double homicide. Mr. Bright died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Gaston County Police Department would like to acknowledge the assistance provided by Dallas Police, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Gaston County Sheriff, Gaston Emergency Medical Services, and Spencer Mountain Volunteer Fire Department.
This is an on-going investigation. If you have information pertinent to the investigation, the Gaston County Police encourages you to contact Det. J. P. Brienza at 704-866-3320. Information can also be provided through Crimestoppers at 704-861-8000.