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Family, friends remember teen shooting victim

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

Family and friends say Steven Omari Rosario had just returned to the area from Florida to enroll at his former school, North Rowan High. The 18-year-old was shot and killed early Monday morning at a South Fulton Street apartment where he was staying.

Salisbury Police received a call around 6:47 a.m., but have said the shooting occurred between 5 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. A neighbor was asked to call 911 by someone who lived in the apartment building. The same neighbor said she peeked into the apartment, but didn’t go inside. She saw Rosario lying on the living room floor.

Police said neighbors heard the gunshots around 5 a.m., but authorities weren’t called to the building, 1006 S. Fulton St., Apt 2, until 6:47 a.m. They say Rosario had been at the complex for about two weeks. It is believed Rosario lived there in the apartment with his uncle.

Word quickly spread as family and friends gathered near the scene, waiting for any confirmation.

“I’m just really speechless. When we got out here and we found out it was indeed Steven. It’s just horrible,” said Jamilla Kennedy, a family friend.

She’s known Steven Rosario since he was a child and said her daughter dated him. Kennedy called Rosario “bright,” and said he came from a good home with loving parents.

His parents reside in Jacksonville, Fla., and according to Kennedy and family members, they were on their way to Salisbury.

Rosario, though not originally from Salisbury, grew up in Salisbury and has over the years moved back to Florida with his family, Kennedy said.

Kennedy’s daughter, Donyae Webb, 17, said she’s known Rosario since the two were in sixth grade. She’d seen him this past Saturday where they “hung out” at the South Fulton Street apartment.

Rosario had been gone for about a month and recently returned to Salisbury because he wanted to attend North Rowan, she said. He would’ve been a junior.

“Just being around him made me happy,” Webb said.

Webb said she was told that someone kicked in the front door and fired into the apartment.

Police investigators removed an interior door from the apartment and placed it into a bag and loaded it into the back of a police sport utility vehicle.

Webb heard about Rosario’s death from his sister and said she’s still in shock.

“I’ll remember him for his personality. He always tried to make people laugh. He was not a troublemaker,” she said.

Jessie Horton, a relative, received a call from Rosario’s mother. She’d heard there was a shooting and wanted them to check on him. She and her husband rushed over to the apartment and were told of the news.

“He was very happy, respectful, everyone loved him,” she said.

Horton said Rosario would visit her family to spend time with her children.

“He was just a good kid and we’re going to miss him,” Horton said.

Salisbury Police charged Dimitruis (Demetrius) Lamar Corpening, 31, with resist, obstruct, delay an officer after he crossed the crime scene tape, said Police Capt. Shelia Lingle.

Officers had to remove him from the property. Corpening was arrested and taken from the scene in handcuffs by police investigators.

North Rowan High was placed on a precautionary code yellow lockdown and a message was issued to parents from Principal Fateama Fulmore. She sent the message to parents via the school system’s ConnectED messaging program.

Fulmore said the message was being sent “due to an off campus situation in the area,” the message read. She added that the situation concerned “one of our students.”

The principal said the school was working under the advisement of law enforcement.

Rowan-Salisbury School System officials say code yellow means that all of the doors to the school building are locked and secured, students do not leave the building and there are no outside activities, however classes continue as usual.

During a code yellow lockdown, parents can enter the building, but the doors are locked as they enter and exit.

Salisbury High, located not far from the apartment building, was also placed on a precautionary lockdown as well.

Spencer Police Chief Michael James said relatives of Rosario attend North Rowan. Officers were on the scene and reported everything was fine at the school. James said the two principals talked and agreed it was best to have a lockdown due to the shooting.

Anyone with information regarding this matter is asked to call the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. These calls can be made anonymously.

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