Crime & Courts

Arrest made in shooting of man found walking without pants

Joseph Robert “AJ” King
Joseph Robert “AJ” King Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

An arrest has been made in the shooting of a man found bloodied and walking without pants on a Rowan County road.

Sheriff’s investigators on Wednesday arrested Joseph Robert “AJ” King, 35, of East Spencer, in the shooting of Johnny Leonard, 52, of Salisbury.

King was charged with robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder. He was jailed on $1 million bail.

Investigators said King and Leonard knew each other.

Leonard was shot multiple times with a handgun after he gave King a ride to East Spencer on Monday night, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said.

After Leonard was shot, he was driven in his car to an isolated area of Old Union Church Road. He was then robbed of his wallet and car and had his body covered with trash, according to investigators.

Leonard woke up Tuesday morning and made his way to the road, where he got help after a motorist saw him. Investigators have not explained why Leonard was walking without pants.

Investigators arrested King on Wednesday afternoon after obtaining arrest warrants and a warrant to search his home. King was found hiding in a camper trailer on the property.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak