CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Steak 'n Shake worker who sacrificed his life to protect others during a robbery attempt is being remembered as a hero, not only by co-workers but by his family.
Darnell Harris, 48, fought back with the suspected shooter, 30-year-old Eddie Doh, before he was fatally shot Tuesday morning, police sources say.
“He gave his life trying to help others. He saved lives that day,” CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney said of Harris. “Mr. Harris was not armed.”
Brendon Ruffin spoke emotionally about his older brother Thursday, saying he has always been a protector. Ruffin said he was watching the news break Tuesday and his mind immediately went to Harris.
"I said please don’t let my brother be the one. Because I know who he is,” Ruffin said, referring to Harris’ heroic qualities.
“Am I angry? No. Because anger and hatred are what caused this act to happen," Anthony Townsend, the best friend of Darnell Harris, said.
“My brother never owned a weapon and he always stepped in front of me, and I’m bigger than him but he always had heroics to step in front you to keep you safe,” Ruffin said.
Harris is described as a dedicated worker. “It it’s Christmas he’s going to be there," Ruffin said. To get to work, Harris would catch a ride with Ruffin to the bus stop and then take the train the rest of the way.
Ruffin plans to honor his brother’s legacy through art and music. He’s also using “#longliveDarnell” on social media. “He’s with me spiritually,” Ruffin said.
“There are people out here out for blood," Townsend said. "I call them vampires.”
“We can each make the world a better place. It’s going to take all of us," Townsend said.
“He would have done that for anybody, he was just that type of guy," said Sailor.
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.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say 26-year-old Kiara Murphy was arrested in the case Thursday morning. Murphy dropped off Doh at Steak 'n Shake before the deadly shooting. Police say she faces multiple charges, including murder.
A GoFundMe has been set up by city councilman Tariq Bokhari and LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda to raise money for the family of Darnell Harris. Lebda will match all donations up to $20,000 dollars.