Second man charged with murder in death of NoDa restaurant co-owner Scott Brooks

Updated: Nov. 17, 2020 at 4:56 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A second person has been arrested in the 2019 shooting death of NoDa restaurant co-owner Scott Brooks of Brooks' Sandwich House.

Police said Tuesday that 31-year-old Steven Staples, who was already in custody on other charges, is now charged with murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In a press conference Tuesday, CMPD officials said with these charges, Staples has now been charged with five murders that police say took place in about 1.5-month period. One of those is Scott Brooks.

“This case is really troubling to all of us,” Lt. Crum said. “Over a about a one and a half month period, he was involved in a tremendous amount of violent crime, and it really just seems senseless. Every single one of us in the homicide unit really just scratched our heads trying to understand what could lead to these senseless crimes, just such a horrible spat of violence in such a short period of time.”

In addition to the Brooks case, Staples was also charged with murder in the case of Anthony Leakes on Elliott Drive on Dec. 23, 2019, charged with murder in the deaths of Siojvon Joseph and Asa Shannon, who were found shot to death in a car down an embankment on Atando Avenue on Jan. 11, 2020 and charged with murder in the death of Andres Osbaldo Moscotte on Jan. 23, 2020 in Hickory.

The first suspect, 33-year-old Terry Conner Jr., was arrested in early March. Charlotte-Mecklenburg said then that a second person was being sought in the case, and a $21,000 reward was being offered for information that lead to the arrest of that person. Conner was also charged for his role in the murders of Asa Shannon and Siojvon Joseph.

Police said Conner and Staples could be considered “partners in crime” as they were both charged in the same cases involving robberies that resulted in murders.

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.

Warrants released in early-March state that Brooks was robbed of $100 when he shot and killed while opening the family business.

Conner faces charges of murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by felon.

In March, Conner appeared in court and told the judge and Brooks family that he was innocent.

Conner was released from prison the previous 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 March 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.

CMPD released these images of the man suspected of fatally shooting restaurant owner Scott...
CMPD released these images of the man suspected of fatally shooting restaurant owner Scott Brooks on Dec. 9, 2019.(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (custom credit) | Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)

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.

Reward posters and tributes are scattered around the neighborhood’s streets.
Reward posters and tributes are scattered around the neighborhood’s streets.(Amanda Foster/WBTV)

“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.

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