Three people were charged in the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old Conover man that the victims family said stemmed from an armed robbery.
And the victims father said police told him that two of the suspects were related to the victims girlfriend.
Police provided few details Sunday in the death of Michael Victor Shull, other than the identities of those arrested and their charges. But Shulls father, Clif Shull, said the family has been in regular contact with the police since his sons death.
Clif Shull said police told him that his son was stabbed during a robbery attempt.
Over the weekend, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police charged Aveance Bryant, 18, Davonta Turner, 18, and Ashley Owens, 19, in connection with Shulls death. They were charged with murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Shull said investigators told him that his son interacted with the three suspects while he was visiting his girlfriend Friday in Charlotte. People need to know its not something that just happened. It was totally set up. They planned it, and they took advantage of his generosity and trust, Shull said.
Police did not give Shull many details of how the robbery and killing took place, except to say that the robbery occurred inside a vehicle and Michael Shulls body was found outside the vehicle.
Police also told him that Bryant and Turner are related to Michael Shulls girlfriend.
But police were very adamant that Michael Shulls girlfriend did not know anything about the conspiracy to commit robbery, which ultimately led to the fatal stabbing, Clif Shull said.
Michael Shull, who was the youngest of four children, met his girlfriend at the N.C. School for the Deaf in Morganton, his father said. Born deaf, Shull graduated from the school in 2011.
After leaving work in the early evening Friday, Michael Shull had driven his dads vehicle to Charlotte to visit his girlfriend, Clif Shull said.
Michael Shull and his girlfriend had planned to see Christmas lights with his family this weekend, said his sister, Samana Shull.
Police were initially called to the 1800 block of Crestdale Drive just after 10 p.m. Friday, after someone called about a car that was parked in the road.
The quiet road is in the Dalebrook subdivision of Lincoln Heights, which is also the neighborhood where Michael Shulls girlfriend lives.
Officers found the car unoccupied and found Shull lying in a yard nearby.
Police did not say whether the vacant vehicle was connected with Shulls death, but on Sunday, Clif Shull said it was his car.
Head over heels in love
On Sunday, Clif Shull recalled how his son was head over heels in love with his girlfriend of two years, though he described the relationship as on-again, off-again.
In recent months, Michael Shull had been hired full-time as a tire specialist in Morganton after working with a company on an interim basis since he was in school.
Samana Shull said her brother loved working on cars in his free time, following in the footsteps of his father and an older brother.
She described her younger brother as a bright, loving and caring person.
Grieving, awaiting justice
Clif Shull also described his son as a generous man who was eager to help those in need. For instance, he would often help people fix their cars or their toilets.
He was an extremely giving person and he trusted everybody, Clif Shull said. He was well-loved.
But he said he was concerned about his son.
I worried about his safety ever since he was born. Hes always been a concern, he said. Hes very independent, but hes very dependent, too. He was trying so hard to make his way.
Clif Shull said he is happy that someone was arrested so quickly in connection with his sons death.
Police told the Shulls that the suspects showed them where they dropped Michael Shulls wallet as well as the knife they used to stab him, Clif Shull said.
The police feel they have a strong case , Shull said. It will never be enough, but we want that closure.
Suspects have record
While Bryant has no past North Carolina criminal record, Turner and Owens do.
Turner was convicted of possession of marijuana up to one ounce in 2012. He was also convicted of breaking or entering a motor vehicle in 2011. Owens was convicted in 2012 with solicitation for prostitution. In 2011, she was convicted of breaking and entering.
Clif Shull said the family has been left wondering why anyone would want to hurt Michael Shull.
Were just shocked beyond belief, Clif Shull said. We cant understand why. Michael would have given anyone anything. Were struggling to understand.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call 704-432-TIPS to speak directly with a homicide detective or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600
Staff writers April Bethea and Cameron Steele and staff researcher Marion Paynter contributed.