Man found dead near school was shot trying to rob a man, police say

Robert Smith
Robert Smith

MONROE, NC (WBTV) - Union County officials now say that a man found dead at high school was with a group of other men trying to rob a home when he was shot and later died.

Robert Smith, 24, was found the morning of Oct. 7 several feet from the Monroe High School campus.

Dispatchers got several calls from neighbors around 6 a.m. about the body near the entrance of the Lakeview Estates near Sunset Dr. and Lakeview Dr.,  according to Police Chief Debra Duncan.

On Wednesday, a Union County captain announced that "we believe that Smith was shot by (a) robbery victim during the exchange of gunfire."

The whole incident -- which involves 3 other men who have been charged -- was traced back to 1:30 am on Oct. 7.

The Union County sheriff says that Smith and the others tried to rob a man at 7004 Lansford Road as the victim was arriving home around that time.

The victim saw the suspects with a gun, so he grabbed a gun. The victim and robbery suspects exchanged gunfire.

The victim later said that nothing was taken during the incident and the suspects fled in a car.

Detectives pieced together that Smith was involved in the robbery incident and that he was "specifically targeted."

The other men charged are: Dalton Emanuel Mayhew, 35, of Marshville; Joel Isaiah Brewer, 24, of Monroe and Joshua Rashard Simpson, 19 of Monroe.

They are all charged wtih attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Simpson and Brewer are also charged with failure to report a dead body.

Brewer, held on a $100,000 bond, is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Simpson is held on a $50,000 bond and Mayhew is held on a $10,000 bond.

The scene is not far from the football field at Monroe High School. Several students could be seen walking along the track while police continued their investigation.

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