• 50°

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.

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

News

Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate

Coronavirus

Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief

Crime

Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint

Education

Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools will survey families, stakeholders about next superintendent

Local

Library to reopen for in-person visits Oct. 1

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office K-9s to receive bulletproof vests

Crime

Man charged with sex offense, raping teen

Business

Commissioners receive analysis of county’s development application process

Crime

Man arrested in Spencer in connection with Charlotte murder investigation

Local

County government losing assistant manager, social services director

Education

RSS will collect information on full K-5 return

Education

KCS sees smooth transition back to classes, unlikely to transition to all in-person for K-5

Nation/World

Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend

Local

Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC

Coronavirus

12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active

Crime

Blotter: Concord man faces drug charges after hotel disturbance call

Crime

Rockwell teen charged with rape of a 14-year-old girl

Crime

Police: Charlotte man caught stealing funeral home employee’s truck