Crime & Courts

Charlotte police identify Steak ‘n Shake shooting victims and murder suspect

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have identified the fast-food restaurant employee who was shot and killed in an apparent robbery Tuesday, and the suspect who will be charged with his murder.

Darnell Harris, 48, died in the shooting at a south Charlotte Steak ‘n Shake restaurant, CMPD said Wednesday. A second victim, still hospitalized, was identified as Robert Carpenter Jr., 53. It’s not clear whether Carpenter was a restaurant employee.

Police said Eddie Doh, 30, will be charged with murder, attempted murder, assault, armed robbery and other charges once he is released from a hospital. Pineville police shot Doh when they responded to calls for help at the restaurant. CMPD said Doh shot both Harris and Carpenter.

In 2013, records show, Doh pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and sentenced to at least seven years in prison. He was released from prison in January, according to state records.

Doh also pleaded guilty to attempted common law robbery in 2009 and was imprisoned for a few months, according to state records. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to uttering a forged instrument, a felony. Records show he also pleaded guilty to several misdemeanors in recent years, including larceny, carrying a concealed gun and assault on a female.

Court records show that Doh and another man, Nicholas Wright, were initially charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery after 17-year-old Aerial Patterson was shot and killed in the Steele Creek area in 2011.

Wright eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and Doh pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. As part of his plea agreement, Doh confessed to hiding bullets from police at Wright’s request, even though he knew Wright had committed a murder, according to court documents.

During his time in Mecklenburg County Jail before the plea deal was signed, Doh completed more than 25 adult education programs, including several related to managing anger and emotions, according to court documents.

Steak ‘n Shake employees told reporters that a masked man entered the restaurant on South Boulevard, near Interstate 485, at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Pineville police officers were the first to arrive in response to 911 calls.

The officers involved in the shooting are Donald Ingram and Travis Naito, the Pineville Police Department said. Ingram has worked in law enforcement for 12 years, the statement said, and Naito is a former U.S. Marine with 13 months of experience in law enforcement as well as four years of experience in security.

Both officers are on paid administrative leave and the Pineville department is conducting an internal review of the officers’ actions.

‘Loved by many’

Shift leader Gwen Golden said she had worked with Harris for more than eight years. He died protecting his colleagues, she said.

“He was a really good guy, and we lost someone who was great to our community,” she said.

A cousin, Tylar Johnson, said in a statement to WBTV that Harris’ family was not surprised by his actions.

“As you continue to talk about this tragedy please feel free to let people know that Darnell was loved by many. He was an uncle, son, cousin, brother and dear friend. He was quiet. He was a hard worker. We are not shocked to learn that he would step in to defend his coworkers and even strangers, because that’s just who he was. He was a great man and a protector and we will miss him,” the statement read.

The homicide was the 61st of the year in Charlotte. In 2018, CMPD reported 57 homicides, according to the Charlotte Observer’s data. The 2018 total was changed to 58 in February, when a man died from wounds sustained last year.

This is a developing story

Staff writer Ames Alexander contributed.

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Bruce Henderson writes about transportation, emerging issues and interesting people for The Charlotte Observer. His reporting background is in covering energy, environment and state news.