Crime & Courts

Shots were fired after a robbery near uptown Charlotte’s Epicentre, police say

The sidewalk outside the Aloft hotel on South College Street in uptown Charlotte was peaceful late Tuesday morning, hours after an armed robbery ended with gunfire, police say.
The sidewalk outside the Aloft hotel on South College Street in uptown Charlotte was peaceful late Tuesday morning, hours after an armed robbery ended with gunfire, police say. jwester@charlotteobserver.com

Gunfire broke out after an armed robbery near the Epicentre in uptown Charlotte early Tuesday, and one man has been arrested, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

Reggie Pettus, 22, has been charged with armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, shooting inside city limits, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a stolen firearm.

Around 1:30 a.m., police say Pettus tried to take another man’s gold chain and car keys near the Aloft hotel on College Street. The victim fought back, and he and Pettus crossed 4th Street toward the Carolina Ale House, CMPD Maj. Gerald Smith said.

The victim did not call 911. Smith said robbery victims should generally avoid confronting the suspect and call 911 as soon as possible.

About an hour later, the victim was still near his car on College Street because he couldn’t leave without car keys, Smith said.

Pettus reappeared and shot at the victim, Smith said.

No one was injured, but police got several calls about the shots fired uptown and thought there might be an active shooter, Smith said.

Pettus ran into a parking deck on 4th Street and police spotted him on his way out, Smith said. An officer thought he might be a victim, because he had a head injury, Smith said.

But once the officer started talking to Pettus, he was evasive, and when the victim spotted him, he identified Pettus as the suspect, Smith said.

Pettus was arrested, and police found the gun in the parking deck.

Smith said uptown is safe overall, even late at night. He said the Epicentre had one aggravated assault in the past month.

Uptown CMPD officers are familiar with Pettus, Smith said.

His North Carolina criminal record shows he’s been found guilty of several felonies, including common law robbery. The locations of those offenses were not immediately available Tuesday.

According to jail records showing Pettus’ ZIP code, he lives uptown.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester
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