CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - An employee is dead and at least two others - including the shooting suspect - were seriously injured following a reported armed robbery attempt at a restaurant in south Charlotte Tuesday morning.
The victim, who was an employee at the restaurant, was identified as 48-year-old Darnell Harris. Police sources say he fought back with the shooter before he was fatally shot.
“As you continue to talk about this tragedy please feel free to let people know that Darnell was loved by many. He was an uncle, son, cousin, brother and dear friend. He was quiet. He was a hard worker. We are not shocked to learn that he would step in to defend his coworkers and even strangers, because that’s just who he was. He was a great man and a protector and we will miss him,” cousin Tylar Johnson said in a statement.
By Wednesday afternoon, a memorial honoring Harris had been set up outside the restaurant.
Tuesday’s shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. at the Steak 'n Shake on South Boulevard by Westinghouse Boulevard. Police said multiple people called 911 to report an armed robbery. Both Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Pineville police responded to the scene.
The suspected shooter is 30-year-old Eddie Doh, police say. Doh remains hospitalized, but after being released, he will be served warrants for murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by felon and possession of a stolen firearm.
A second victim injured in the shooting was identified by police as 53-year-old Robert Carpenter Jr., a customer. He remains hospitalized. Carpenter was reportedly inside the restaurant and trying to eat when the shooting happened.
“Evidence gathered during the investigation revealed that the suspect was responsible for shooting both victims,” police said of Doh.
As Pineville officers arrived at the scene they heard shots fired in the restaurant, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said during a press conference at 1:25 p.m. An employee, Putney said, was killed inside.
“It appears that the suspect shot the victim in the store," Putney said.
Doh was previously charged and convicted for accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in connection with the October 2011 murder of a 17-year-old girl. He was initially sentenced to 87-114 months in prison.
According to the North Carolina Department Of Public Safety’s offender public information website, Doh was a repeat offender.
The officers then encountered an armed man and, according to to CMPD, “perceived an imminent, lethal threat and discharged a firearm.”
Pineville Police identified the two officers who fired as Officer Donald Ingram and Officer Travis Naito. The department said Officer Ingram has 12 years of law enforcement experience and Officer Naito has 13 months.
No officers were injured.
The customer nor the suspect’s conditions have been made public.
Employees of the restaurant could be seen speaking with detectives outside the business. One employee told WBTV that their co-worker who was killed worked at the restaurant for 8 years.
“We lost somebody good... a member of our Steak 'n Shake family,” the employee said.
Various medic units, police and fire officials could be seen surrounding the Steak 'n Shake. Police had the entire area taped off as first responders processed the scene.
Several officer could be seen putting multiple evidence markers near several vehicles in the parking lot of the restaurant.
Traffic exiting from Interstate 485 in the area was brought to a halt. The closed lanes were open a short time later.
CMPD said while their department would be handling the criminal investigation into the incident, the Pineville Police Department would be handling the internal investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.