Police: Man shot and killed in parking lot near Walmart in Salisbury, suspect ran from scene

The Salisbury Police Department was on scene investigating at shopping center on South Arlington Street.
The Salisbury Police Department was on scene investigating near the Walmart on South Arlington Street.
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 9:13 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2022 at 8:38 PM EST
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Police say a man was shot and killed in a parking lot of a strip shopping center near the Walmart and other businesses in Salisbury Thursday night. Michael Dwayne Connor Jr. died in a parking lot off of Freeland Drive after being shot just before 9 p.m. on Thursday, a news release said.

“We were in the Walmart parking lot when an employee told us to move our vehicle around the back of the store. (A family member) was inside and heard an announcement evacuating the store immediately. Really scary to think of this happening when we were there,” one person said.

Police were telling people to stay away from the area as the shooting investigation unfolded on South Arlington Street and Freeland Drive.

“It’s just unsettling, you know, to know that someone got killed here, I mean it could happen around here,” one witness told WBTV.

Chief Stokes said officers were called initially about a shooting at Walmart. When they arrived, they found a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound in the parking lot of the Salisbury Shopping Center around 8:50 p.m. The shopping center is across from Walmart.

“There does not appear to have been any part of this incident began or has any connection to Walmart or even the parking lot,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes. “It was across the street in the parking lot of another shopping center. It does not appear to have involved any specific store at the shopping center.”

Police were urging members of the public to help with the investigation by providing any information they may have about the shooting.

“Please, if you saw something, please call us and let us know. Even the smallest thing may be very important for us in the investigation,” said Stokes. “You may think it’s small. It’s important for us to have that information so please call us so we can hold this person accountable.”

Officers on scene were not able to locate any other victim.

Police say they do not have suspect information right now but did say the shooting suspect ran from the scene.

Police say they do not believe there is any threat to public safety at the moment.

“Right now we do not feel like there is a public safety threat that we need to broadcast out,” Stokes said. “We’re still trying to locate the suspect, again, it is still an active scene, but don’t feel like there’s a specific public safety threat to be concerned about.”

There was a heavy police presence in the area and police were advising people to avoid the area.

Police from neighboring agencies were called to Salisbury to help with the investigation. Chief Stokes said the department was assisted by Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Rowan County Emergency Management, the Kannapolis Police Department, N.C. State Highway Patrol, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Salisbury Fire Department.

The Salisbury Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division is actively investigating the incident and ask that anyone with information please contact Lt. Crews at (704) 216-7545, (704) 638-5262 or email: investigations@salisburync.gov.

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