Image: Bishop David Callands of the Coalition for Economic & Social Justice and Casey Thomas of Greensboro Rising converse near the spot where Anthony Hill died. (photo by Jordan Green)
A man was killed after being repeatedly run over by a truck in a southeast Greensboro neighborhood today.
Anthony Hill, the 53-year-old victim victim, was Black. The driver of the truck was white.
Ryan Pressley, a neighbor who said he witnessed the incident, said Hill and the driver — 50-year-old Paul Steven Voss Jr. — were arguing over a bucket, and Hill tried to grab the bucket and Voss drove off with Hill hanging from the truck.
After being thrown into some limbs lying on the curb on Madre Place near the intersection of Acorn Road, Hill rose to his feet, Pressley said, and then Voss drove back around and hit him with the truck, before backing up and hitting him two more times.
The Greensboro Police Department said in a press release that they are investigating Hill’s death as a homicide. Voss turned has himself in to the police, and has been charged with first-degree murder, the police confirmed late Sunday.
“We don’t believe it is racially motivated in any way,” police spokesperson Ronald Glenn told TCB, while declining to provide additional information.
Pressley said Voss was familiar to people in the neighborhood.
“They said the man doesn’t like Black people; he just comes to buy crack,” Pressley said. “He stays near here out in the country.”
Neighbors were not completely surprised by the incident.
“He already tried to run over three teenagers near the bottom of Acorn,” Pressley said. “The only reason they got away from him is he hit a fence and they were able to jump over the fence.”
Bishop David Callands, the president of the Coalition for Economic and Social Justice — one of a handful of organizers who came out to gather information about the crime — said the incident took place at about 10 a.m. A woman who lives in the neighborhood told TCB that she was shocked to see Hill’s feet protruding from under the truck at 11 a.m. The police press release said officers responded to the scene at 12:54 p.m. “in reference to a hit-and-run crash with injuries.”
Around 5:30 p.m., a crime scene technician was finishing up and police reopened the street to vehicular traffic. It is unclear how long Hill’s body was left lying on the street after the police arrived.
Pressley said only a couple days ago, his grandmother had paid Hill $100 to finish up a tree-trimming job after the original worker failed to complete the job.
“It’s crazy to think he did that job from my grandmother, and then he got thrown off that truck into those limbs, and then got run over right next to the limbs,” Pressley said.
Pressley recounted the incident for some of Hill’s relatives, who reportedly informed his parents.
By 6:30, about 10 people, including organizers from Greensboro and Graham who have been involved in campaigns for racial justice, had gathered at the intersection where Hill was killed. One group arrived with flowers, and set off on foot to deliver them to Hill’s parents. Organizers inquired among neighbors what they could do to support Hill’s family, and tentatively discussed plans for a memorial gathering.
This story was updated at 9:49 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020 to include the name of the suspect and the charge against him.