• 75°

Accused gunman in store owner’s death: ‘I didn’t mean to shoot him’

SALISBURY — Three men charged with killing a store owner last week were charged again today in two robberies on West Horah Street.

Salisbury Police initially charged the group, beginning with Kevin Canzator and Maurice Robinson, who have been accused of leaving the Mooresville Road store just seconds before Christopher Watson allegedly entered and shot Hecham Abualeinan.

“I’m sorry,” Watson said, his voice cracking through sobs on his way into the Magistrate’s Office Tuesday morning.

After receiving two more charges of felony robbery with a dangerous weapon, Detective Aaron Safrit escorted the emotional 23-year-old Watson back to an unmarked police car.

“I was protecting my family. I didn’t mean to shoot him,” Watson croaked.

Once inside the car, Watson leaned his head back against the headrest looking toward the ceiling, crying uncontrollably.

Authorities have expected to charge the group in the two robberies at Neighborhood Market, a store on West Horah Street.

Sultan Qasem, the owner, told the Post last week he recognized 20-year-old Canzator as a man who pretended to be a customer during one of his two robberies.

The store was robbed once in November and again in early December.

A search warrant obtained by the Post said Canzator and Robinson admitted to going to the Z&H Mart on Mooresville Road with a plan to rob it on Dec. 10. Watson also confessed to authorities that he shot and killed Abualeinan, the warrant said.

Canzator and Robinson entered the store about 9:30 p.m. and bought candy from Abualeinan, the report shows. Warrants show Watson entered the store 11 seconds later with a gun.

After shooting the store owner, the warrant said, Watson walked around the 59-year-old and emptied the cash register.

All three remained in jail Tuesday under no bond.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Dennis Rivers joins Salisbury Police Department in new homeless advocate position

Cleveland

Rockwell, Faith, Cleveland adopt 2021-22 budgets; East Spencer officials to receive budget next week

Sports

Brind’Amour gets contract extension with Hurricanes, wins coach of year honors

Local

West Rowan grad wins two national masonry competitions

Local

Quotes of the week

Education

Rowan, Kannapolis students below state average for federal aid applications

High School

High school baseball playoffs: Raiders roll past Oak Grove

News

3 dead, 2 still missing after tubers go over Dan River dam

Coronavirus

County, state officials work to increase vaccinations as concern over Delta variant grows

News

Cooper no fan of energy bill

Business

Hexagon Agility to expand Salisbury facility, invest $28 million, create 75 new jobs

Crime

Blotter: Two men rob convenience store at gunpoint

Business

Brewery, second-floor restaurant planned for downtown China Grove

Local

Sonny Allen, former mayor of Salisbury, dies at age 90

Education

RCCC names Student Excellence Award finalists

Local

City approves permit for child care center near downtown

Business

Deadline approaches to apply for Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Rowan program

Landis

Landis removed from Local Government Commission’s watch list

Local

YSUP Rowan launches month-long drug use prevention campaign

Education

Shoutouts

Education

RSS reports man impersonating summer meals worker

Local

County ponders plumbing replacement to completely eliminate lead in Dukeville

High School

High school baseball: Round 2 for South, East

College

College baseball: Former East slugger Chandler Blackwelder commits to North Greenville