The Winston-Salem Journal reports that nearly 150 people attended a candlelight vigil this week in honor of Julius Randolph Sampson Jr., who was shot and killed Tuesday at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem where he worked. Sampson’s shooting death has attracted significant attention in Winston, as there is some indication that Sampson and the suspect in the shooting, Robert Anthony Granato, exchanged racial epithets during the incident, prompting questions from some about whether race was a motivating factor in the shooting. Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson said in a news conference on Wednesday that investigators have not uncovered evidence suggesting that the shooting was racially motivated. The North Carolina NAACP has called for a full investigation into whether race was a factor in the shooting. Keep reading for more news.
Jarrell Passes. It’s impossible to review North Carolina news outlets this week without encountering positive stories about Guilford County Chief District Court Judge Tom Jarrell, who passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. Shea’s post from yesterday includes links to several of those reports. Guilford County courts were closed yesterday so that those who worked with Jarrell could attend his funeral. This report from the Greensboro News & Record says that thousands of people attended Jarrell’s funeral in Kernersville.
NC Escapee Arrest. A man who escaped from North Carolina prison more than two decades ago was arrested on Wednesday in South Carolina. ABC 15 News reports that Stanley Lee Rogers was arrested at his home in Aynor, South Carolina, by a U.S. Marshals task force member of the Horry County Sheriff’s Office. Rogers was sentenced to 40 years in prison for robbery in 1996 and escaped about three years into that sentence while working as an inmate mowing grass.
Mass Shootings. This week our country once again witnessed a familiar form of mass murder. In the early hours of Sunday morning, a 24-year-old man armed with a semi-automatic version of the AR-15 killed 9 people and injured 27 others on a crowded street in Dayton, Ohio. His own sister was among the dead. Dayton police officers shot and killed the attacker just as he was preparing to enter a crowded nightclub. The chief of police said that the loss of life would have been catastrophic had the attacker managed to enter the club as his rifle was outfitted with a 100-round drum magazine.
On Saturday morning, a 21-year-old man armed with a semi-automatic version of the AK-47 killed 22 people and injured 24 others in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime because the suspect is believed to have posted an anti-Hispanic manifesto to the politics discussion board of the website 8chan immediately prior to carrying out the attack. As is often the case in the mass shootings that are now common in America, stories of bravery and heart wrenching loss are emerging from the shootings.
Murder Suspects Found Dead. The Charlotte Observer reports that two teens who are suspected of killing a Charlotte woman and her boyfriend while the couple was visiting British Columbia have been found dead. Chynna Noelle Deese, of Charlotte, and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler were murdered in the Canadian province last month. A manhunt for the suspects had been underway ever since.
Courthouse Threat Arrest. CBS 17 reports that Cumberland County attorney Dee Wayne Bray was arrested this week and charged with threatening to kill judges in the Cumberland County Courthouse by blowing it up.
K9 Kayda. Within 24 hours of Surf City K9 officer Kayda being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, the local community had raised more than enough money to cover her treatment according to this report from WWAY News. Kayda’s partner Cpl. Eric Peterson said that her veterinarian was concerned about a lump underneath her tongue that turned out to be Squamous Cell Carcinoma. She’s scheduled to have surgery next week and any funds remaining after her treatment will be donated to the NC State Veterinary Medical Center.