CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A customer shot at a Charlotte Steak 'n Shake on July 9 is still recovering and may have to learn how to walk again.
Robert Carpenter Jr., 53, was reportedly finishing lunch inside the South Boulevard restaurant when he was shot multiple times. A gunman, later identified by police as 30-year-old Eddie Doh, was apparently attempting to rob the Steak 'n Shake.
An employee at the restaurant, 48-year-old Darnell Harris, was shot and killed.
Carpenter says he noticed a man walk into the restaurant who was wearing a mask. He says that’s when Darnell confronted Doh and shots were fired. Carpenter says he stood up to help Darnell stop the suspect, but was shot during the process.
“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.”
Carpenter’s family is calling him a hero, and says they weren’t surprised that he put himself in harm’s way to protect others.
“That’s just the kind of person Robbie is, Robbie’s always stood up for whats right, he will give you the shirt off his back. And he will help any way, you’re hungry, he will feed you, that’s just the kind of person,” Carpenter’s wife, Melissa Johnson, said. "The only thing I knew is that he was shot and it was a robbery, and I knew he tried to step in to help somebody.”
Carpenter has undergone four surgeries, family friends are raising money for his future medical costs.
Carpenter’s wife said Robbie speaks often about Darnell’s bravery during the shooting and has a message for the Harris family.
“He wanted you to know that that was one brave soul man, that he’d never seen anything like that before in his entire life, and that he just keep flashing to it and I cant get over how strong that man was, he was a hero," said Johnson.
Doh is facing murder charges in the deadly shooting, which sparked an officer-involved shooting that injured Doh. A second suspect, 26-year-old Kiara Murphy was arrested in the case last week.
In addition to murder, Doh faces charges of 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.
Murphy was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.