Warrant: Watson admitted to shooting store owner

  • Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 5:27 p.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, December 14, 2012 5:53 p.m.
Christopher Lee Watson
Christopher Lee Watson

SALISBURY — Christopher Lee Watson admitted to investigators that he shot and killed store owner Hecham Abualeinan during a robbery Monday, according to a search warrant obtained by the Post.

Watson also told investigators at the Salisbury Police Department that Kevin Canzator and Maurice Robinson drove him to the Z&H Mart on Mooresville Road in a white 1993 Chevy Caprice.


Canzator and Robinson initially told officers they were customers inside the store before the gunman entered.

“At the end of the interviews, both Robinson and Canzator admitted they had been a part of a plan to rob the store and the suspect that shot the store clerk was Chris Watson,” the warrant said.

Surveillance footage showed two men buy candy and leave the store. Eleven seconds later, the gunman entered.

The man, masked and wearing a hood that hid his face, pointed a handgun at Abualeinan.

The 59-year-old store owner walked around the counter and confronted the armed man, investigators said in the warrant, which then describes what happened next.

“The suspect backed toward the store’s front door still pointing the gun at Mr. Abualeinan. The suspect then grips the handgun with both hands and appears to aim the weapon more carefully and then Mr. Abualeinan falls face first to the floor and blood is seen on the floor around Mr. Abualeinan’s head.”

The gunman then walked around Abualeinan and emptied the register.

Abualeinan’s family, who lived with him behind the store, told detectives they heard a yell and a loud noise. They found the Syrian immigrant lying on the floor.

Following the robbery, the men drove to a home off Grace Church Road and paid the homeowner in marijuana to let them burn the clothes they were wearing, according to the warrant.

Watson told deputies the Caprice broke down after the murder. Investigators found it at Advance Auto Parts on Jake Alexander Boulevard.

Deputies executed the search warrant on the vehicle and towed it to a secure location.

Check Saturday’s Salisbury Post for more information.

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