Three Salisbury men were behind bars Wednesday for the fatal shooting of a convenience store owner earlier this week.
The suspects – Christopher Lee Watson, 23; Maurice Alexander Robinson, 33; and Kevin Lamont Canzater, 20 – were each charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Authorities identified Watson as the alleged shooter.
The men are charged in the death of Hecham Abualeinan, 59, whom authorities say was shot during a robbery Monday evening at his H&Z Mart on Mooresville Road just west of Salisbury.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office had previously released photos of two men they said had bought something at the store and had exited the business just as the robber entered. Deputies were looking for the men as possible witnesses to the crime.
But on Wednesday, authorities identified the men in those images as Canzater and Robinson, and said they were actually involved in the incident.
Authorities said all three of the men rode to the convenience store together. Seconds after Canzater and Robinson left the store, authorities said Watson entered the mart and pointed a handgun at Abualeinan.
Abualeinan confronted the man, who then shot the store owner, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Police said Watson then took money from the store’s cash register before fleeing the business.
The sheriff’s office said Watson also is suspected in other robberies, though details of those crimes weren’t immediately available.
Records show that Watson was released from state prison this spring after spending three months behind bars for breaking and entering and larceny.
Robinson also has spent time in prison for multiple offenses, including breaking and entering, larceny, and communicating threats.
On Wednesday, all three suspects were being held without bond in the Rowan County Detention Center.
News Researcher Maria David contributed
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