Man meeting another to buy baby items robbed at gunpoint in Gold Hill; one suspect later found shot in legs

Published 11:36 am Friday, July 20, 2018

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

GOLD HILL — A man who thought he was meeting someone to purchase baby items was ambushed and robbed at gunpoint Thursday night.

Three men were arrested in the robbery, and a fourth suspect was found with gunshot wounds later Thursday night at an abandoned house in Kannapolis.

The robbery victim and two others — his girlfriend and a female friend who had arranged the pickup of the baby items — went to meet the robber about 8 p.m. in the Auto Zone parking lot in Rockwell, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said Matthew Martin arrived in a red sport utility vehicle and told the victim to follow him to Gold Hill.

The victim said he followed Martin to Zion Church and George Brown roads. Martin’s SUV suddenly stopped in front of him and a Volkswagen Jetta pulled up behind him, he told authorities.

Martin got out of the SUV with a handgun and ordered the victim out of his vehicle. He took the man’s wallet and cellphone and forced him to walk away, authorities said.

The victim said Martin told him he’d better walk or he would end up in a cornfield.

The victim contacted authorities to tell them he’d been robbed at gunpoint and that his girlfriend and friend were still with the robbers. While searching the area, deputies spotted a silver Chrysler van and a dark Volkswagen Jetta at 41 Gin Road. The Jetta matched the description the victim had given deputies.

Deputies found the man’s girlfriend and friend with Martin and several other people at the Gin Road location. The victim, who was with a deputy, identified Martin as the driver of the SUV as well as other suspects, a Sheriff’s Office report said.

Authorities identified the suspects who were riding in the Volkswagen as Matthew Oxendine, Andrew Micah Sifford, Gregory Houston and Samuel Yost.

Rowan County officials arrested Martin, Oxendine and Yost in connection with the robbery.

Martin, 29, of 410 Gin Road, Gold Hill, is charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon. He remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond.

Oxendine, 29, of 125 Myrtle Goodnight Road, China Grove, is charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon. He remains in the Rowan County jail without bond.

Yost, 21, of 421 Cannon St., Rockwell, is charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon. He remains in the Rowan County jail under a $5,000 secured bond.

Arrest warrants were issued for Houston and Sifford.

At 11:23 p.m. Thursday, officers with the Kannapolis Police Department responded to reports of a shooting at an abandoned house at 802 W. Eighth St. They found Sifford, 31, with a gunshot wound to each leg.

Sifford is expected to survive, Kannapolis police said.

Witnesses say they heard a verbal altercation before the gunshots. The suspect was described as a slender man wearing an orange shirt and long jeans shorts.

Investigators are working to identify the suspect and determine a motive in the shooting.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Gregory Houston is asked to contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700 or Salisbury-Rowan CrimeStoppers at 866-639-5245.

Anyone with information about the Kannapolis shooting is asked to contact investigators Lamar Harper at 704-920-4001 or lharper@kannapolisnc.gov.

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