Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have determined that a man who was found dead in a car in southwest Charlotte was shot to death during a drug deal gone wrong.
Investigators Thursday arrested 24-year-old Jonathan Tristan Daberto Henderson on armed robbery and murder charges in connection with the case. They had earlier identified the victim as WIlliam Lee Ellis Tunson, 21.
Tunsons body was inside a silver sedan in the parking lot of Applebees at 8710 South Tryon St. around 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Police responded to the assault with deadly weapon call after the manager of a nearby gym called to report the body.
I seen the bullet casings and I saw blood on the car, Malcolm Jones, manager of Planet Fitness, told Observer news partner WCNC-TV. I looked inside and saw a guy bleeding.
Authorities canvassed the Steele Creek area late into the evening Wednesday but did not confirm until the next day that the case was a homicide.
A CMPD spokesman said Henderson and Tunson knew each other and were in the middle of a drug transaction when Henderson shot Tunson.
The Violent Crimes Apprehension Team found Henderson Thursday morning, arrested him and took him to department headquarters to be interviewed by homicide detectives.
Police planned to book Henderson into the Mecklenburg County jail later Thursday evening.
The crime scene drew a crowd of bystanders and media Wednesday as police blocked off the Applebees parking lot and brought a canine to search the area. They worked until about midnight, when the crowd had cleared, before they removed Tunsons body and towed his car for evidence.
Anyone with information about this incident should call 704-432-TIPS and speak to a homicide detective or leave information with Crime Stoppers, 704-334-1600.
Staff writer Steve Lyttle contributed