The three men involved in the shooting at a Walmart parking lot in Belmont are free on bond. The shooter claims he was a victim trying to stop men he met through Craigslist from stealing jewelry. All three were in court Monday.
Friday night Belmont Police had three men in custody after a Walmart Parking lot shooting and botched larceny.
Investigators said Matthew Lee Ollis told them he drove to the parking lot to sell two men some jewelry.
Ollis' father told WBTV it was a $2,000.00 diamond ring that his son thought he was selling to buyers from Craig's List.
The sale never happened.
Police said just before 4 p.m. at the Walmart on Hawley Avenue off of Highway 74 shots were fired.
"My God. What's going on and all of a sudden I see people duck and I realize it was gunshots" eye witness Jasha Hunter told WBTV.
"When they arrived, he showed them the jewelry, they grabbed it and ran from the scene" Chief Charlie Franklin said Ollis told detectives. "As they ran he pulled out a weapon from his waistband and fired four shots."
WBTV watched the surveillance video of the parking lot.
The video shows one of the alleged thieves running away from the man. The driver waiting, leaves in the jeep, before his partner – who police say is his brother - can make it to the jeep. The man who was selling the ring ran after them, and started shooting at the jeep. Then he went after the other thief who was on foot.
Hunter said "I looked at him and thought he was he just running like everybody else, then I looked and he had the gun. And he came right pass my car. I just froze."
Belmont Police said they received several 911 calls for shots fired in the Walmart parking lot.
Officers said they spotted the shooter, 25-year-old Matthew Ollis of Gastonia, when they arrived and handcuffed him.
Police said he told them the men stole his jewelry and took off.
Investigators went on the manhunt, locking down businesses while searching. Detectives said just before 6:00 p.m. they found 20-year-old Wesley Perkins, the man who allegedly stole the ring.
Officers arrested Perkins on the grounds of Holy Angels and officers said he was uninjured.
Detectives said Perkins told them he tossed his phone and the ring while running. He took investigators to a wooded area of Wilkinson Boulevard but they didn't find the ring.
"We found the jeep" Chief Franklin said.
WBVTV watched as investigators searched and photographed the get-away jeep, that was left in the back parking lot area of Walmart.
Chief Franklin said the jeep has 2 bullet holes - the front passenger tire was shot out. And the rear passenger wheel also took a bullet.
Tim Ollis showed up at the parking lot as police looked over the jeep.
"And he was in the wrong for firing shots and they were in the wrong also for trying to rip someone off when they should have been trying to make an honest living for themselves."
Ollis says his son was the shooter.
"And he should never been trying to fire bullets towards an occupied building."
Chief Franklin said Matthew Ollis will face charges.
"You can't just pull a gun out and shoot at someone, especially in the parking lot of Walmart" Chief Franklin said.
"The people who attempted to take the ring from him were running away as he was shooting at them. He was not really in danger plus the parking lot of Walmart was covered. One of the bullets could easily have shot an innocent bystander."
Just after midnight on Friday, 18-year-old Malik Moore of Lincolnton NC turned himself in.
Ollis has been charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. He is in jail under a $100,00 secured bond.
Moore and Perkins were charged with felony larceny. Moore received a $15,000 secured bond and Perkin's bond was $10,000 secured.
Monday, Ollis told a judge he would hire his own lawyer. His next court date is May 1st. Moore and Perkins , the half-brothers seen here living court, both told a judge Monday they are unemployed and were appointed public defenders.
A woman who identified herself as Perkins' grandmother said Perkins was driving her Jeep and she still hasn't gotten back from police. She said her grandson had never been shot at before and was scared. Perkins and Moore had no comment.