Two Salisbury men arrested in connection with shooting death in Enochville

Published 11:39 am Sunday, December 4, 2016

By Mark Wineka

ENOCHVILLE — The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Salisbury men early Sunday in connection with the shooting death of a man on Carter Street on the Rowan side of Kannapolis.

The victim was identified as 48-year-old Christopher Todd Rumple of Carter Street, who was discovered dead in the road of an apparent gunshot wound.

The two men arrested and charged with murder are Jai Montreal Winchester, 21, of 1607 Lakewood Drive, Salisbury, and Jahari S. Rustin, 20, of 2113 E. Innes St., Salisbury.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, a witness reported a tan car leaving the shooting scene and advised the 911 operator.

A BOLO (Be On the Look Out) was sent out, and China Grove Police officers observed a car matching the description of the suspect vehicle a short time later, reports said.

China Grove Police stopped the car on Interstate 85 near Webb Road.

Meanwhile, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at both locations — Carter Street and the traffic stop —  and sheriff’s detectives also went to both places.

A handgun was recovered from the suspect vehicle, and the two occupants were transported to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. During the course of detectives’ investigation, both Winchester and Rustin were identified as suspects and charged with murder.

Winchester and Rustin are in the Rowan County Detention Center without bond. They were processed about 4:40 a.m. Sunday. Their first appearance in court is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The arresting officers were C.R. Safrit and R.D. Addison.

Authorities are familiar with Rumple, the shooting victim, and his family. In November 2015, a joint investigation of the Rowan Sheriff’s Office, Kannapolis Police Department and Iredell County Sheriff’s Office led to Rumple’s being charged with trafficking and conspiracy to traffic heroin. After his arrest, he posted a $500,000 secured bond and was released.

His son Zachary Todd Rumple also was arrested at that time and was hit with numerous heroin-related charges from three different counties and placed under a $2,050,000 secured bond.

Zachary Rumple’s younger brother, Brandon Lee Rumple, gained a reputation as the “drug kingpin of Enochville” and is serving a multi-year sentence in prison on drug convictions, according to previous reports.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.