Police continue to investigate murder of 18-year-old

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

Police have not made an arrest in the Monday murder of 18-year-old Steven Omari Rosario, but say they continue to investigate. Officials also encourage neighbors to not be afraid to contact law enforcement in an emergency situation.

Rosario was shot and killed inside a South Fulton Street apartment, investigators believe sometime between 5 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. A neighbor called 911 around 6:47 a.m. to say there was a shooting in an apartment and the victim was lying on the living room floor.

Rosario had just returned to Salisbury from Florida, where his mother and father reside. Friends and family say he intended to enroll in North Rowan High, where he’d once attended.

He’d been staying with an uncle in the apartment, tucked in an area surrounded by trees, other apartments and homes. The building, which only houses four apartments, is not far from Harrison Street and backs up to Lincolnton Road, near Salisbury High School.

Police have not released any further details in the shooting. On Monday, investigators spent much of the day at the scene, collecting evidence and talking with neighbors and family. Officers at one point brought out an interior door and placed it into a waiting law enforcement vehicle.

According to a family friend, someone kicked in the apartment door and shot Rosario, who was in the living room. It is not clear the motive of the shooting or if Rosario was the intended victim. Crime scene investigators also took pictures and video recordings of the scene.

Police Capt. Melonie Thompson encouraged neighbors who hear strange noises or gunshots to call police immediately. Thompson said the sooner police are notified, the sooner they can get to the scene to investigate, canvass the neighborhood or get a K-9 to the scene to track for evidence or suspects.

No information is too great or too small, she said.

“It is always sad to lose someone, especially in a violent crime and even more sad when it is a young person that has not really begun to live life,” Thompson said.

She understands it can be hard to report information to¬†police, especially if it concerns family or friends. People often feel conflicted about the decision to call authorities, she said, but “you would want someone to assist law enforcement with information if it was your family member.”

News spread quickly amongst family and friends through social media and at North Rowan High. North Principal Fateama Fulmore in conjunction with law enforcement decided upon a code yellow lockdown at the school. Nearby Salisbury High was also placed on a lockdown as a precaution. Fulmore sent a ConnectED message to parents notifying them of the lockdown.

During a code yellow lockdown, parents can enter the building, but the doors are locked as they enter and exit. The yellow code also means all of the doors to the school are locked and secured, students cannot leave the building, and outside activities are canceled. Classes do continue as usual during a code yellow lockdown.

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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