CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Warrants released Thursday state that NoDa restaurant co-owner Scott Brooks was robbed of $100 when he shot and killed while opening his family business.
A suspect arrested in the fatal shooting was identified Wednesday by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police as 33-year-old Terry Conner Jr. A second person is being sought in the case, police say, and a $21,000 reward is still being offered for information that leads to the arrest of that person.
61-year-old Scott Brooks was shot during an attempted robbery while opening his restaurant, Brooks’ Sandwich House, early in the morning on December 9. The business was likely targeted because it deals with cash, police said. An arrest was made in the case early Wednesday morning, but police did not provide any names.
“We have some very good news,” police said, announcing an arrest in the case. Conner, who police say has a criminal history, was taken into custody in Countryside Drive early Wednesday.
Conner faces charges of murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by felon. “We are still looking for a second suspect," police said.
On Thursday, Conner appeared in court and told the judge and Brooks family that he was innocent.
Conner was released from prison in September after being charged in a home invasion and shooting.
“We are finally getting some peace of mind!! We have a been praying for this day and it’s finally here! We are to blessed to be stressed!” Brooks’ Sandwich House posted on Instagram following the announcement of the arrest.
David Brooks, who ran the restaurant along with his twin brother Scott Brooks, spoke publicly after the announcement of the arrest was made, calling the news “a blessing out of such tragedy.”
“I’m so thankful for the community,” David Brooks said, “A little bit of closure is going to come to the family and to the community.”
David Brooks said although nothing will bring his brother back, he’s thankful for the hard work of Charlotte police officers to make an arrest in the case. He’s also thankful for the community’s support.
“Over the past 47 years you never know how many friends you have until something like this happens,” David Brooks said. "I don’t have the words to describe the kind of family that they actually are,” he said of the community.
CMPD previously released surveillance video and photos of one of the suspects wanted in the deadly shooting.
CMPD said early on that there was surveillance video and still photographs of the two men they believe are connected to the case.
The short videos shows a man approaching the restaurant with what appears to be a handgun shortly before Brooks was shot.
The still images from the surveillance focus on the gloves one of the men was wearing.
Police hoped sharing the images would help someone recognize the person responsible for Brooks’ death. The reward for any information leading to an arrest was upgraded to $21,000.
Scott Brooks and David Brooks ran the restaurant for decades. Their father, Calvin “CT” Brooks Jr, founded the iconic restaurant on N. Brevard St. in 1973. Since then, they’ve helped develop the neighborhood surrounding their restaurant into the NoDa we know today.
David Brooks and other family members stood with CMPD as the new evidence was released. He said the support from the community and police has been overwhelming - and he pleaded for someone to come forward.
“The support that we receive gets us through our grief every day. It’s not easy... it’s not easy... he was my twin brother," David Brooks said. "I just hope this little bit of evidence and what we’re doing today is going to help find and convict someone. We can’t bring him back, but maybe bring a little justice to not only us but the community, too.”
That NoDa community is one that has been searching for answers alongside the family.
“I know a lot of people are keeping their eyes peeled for any kind of clue of who was doing this,” Melissa Gale at Fu’s Custom Tattoos says.
Reward posters and tributes are scattered around the neighborhood’s streets.
“I feel sad,” Gale says. “But I can also understand once I saw the videos, because what can you really tell from it? I guess we’re just waiting for somebody to say something.”
The line stretched around the restaurant at Brooks’ Sandwich House with people waiting to show their appreciation for the late Scott Brooks when the restaurant reopened February 2.
Anyone with further information about the shooting is urged to call 911, 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. The public can also contact the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office at 704-672-6100.