Stepdaughter wants justice in murder of Emerson Roebuck

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, October 22, 2019

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — Emerson Truitt Roebuck was a constant source of support for his stepdaughter Shamill Connor, whose mother died when she was 12.

Now, Connor said, she’s trying to process life without the man who treated her like a biological daughter.

Roebuck, 71, was found with multiple gunshot wounds late Saturday night in the living room of his West Kerr Street home. His roommate and friend was asleep and heard the gunshots. Roebuck was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, where he later died. Roebuck’s death marks the city of Salisbury’s second homicide of the year.

The Salisbury Police Department’s criminal investigations division and the State Bureau of Investigation responded to the crime scene and began a joint investigation.

Police said they were not familiar with Roebuck and that it appears the crime is random. There was no forced entry into the home and no arrest has been made.

According to police department spokesman Lt. Greg Beam, Roebuck was the victim of a home invasion earlier this month. In that incident, three males entered his home while he was watching TV. The men held him at gunpoint and demanded money. The men took the money and left.

There’s no indication at this point whether the home invasion and Roebuck’s death are related, Beam said.

Connor was raised by Roebuck along with her brother. She said Roebuck, whom she called “Pops,” raised more 10 children. That includes her stepbrother, Mario Roebuck, whose mother died when he was about 15.

Connor said their family is big — she has six children, Mario has seven and another sibling has 10. Roebuck always managed to spend time with the grandchildren, she said.

“He didn’t have much. He was on a fixed income, but he would give us things for Christmas,” Connor said.

Roebuck loved to exercise, Connor said. In fact, he would take two walks per day — one in the morning and one in the evening. He maintained a flower garden and enjoyed embroidering initials and other words onto his clothing and hats. Connor said he often asked her to take him to the store for more thread.

He also tried his hand at making clothes, which is something that Connor began to enjoy, too, after watching him.

He loved music and loved to dance. He didn’t know how to use his bluetooth speaker, but asked Connor to play his favorites on Pandora radio. Roebuck was a particular fan of the “oldies but goodies,” Connor said.

“He was the best. I mean, to take care of those kids who didn’t have a mama, you can’t find a man like that,” she said.

Connor said she wants justice to be served for his death because Roebuck didn’t deserve it.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333 or Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.