One Year Later: Family of Farmville Hustle Mart victims speak - WNCT

One Year Later: Family of Farmville Hustle Mart victims speak out

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FARMVILLE, N.C. -

It's been one year since three men were found shot, execution style in a Farmville convenience store and the family is now speaking out.

It was back on April 1st 2012 that deputies say Antwan Anthony, Xavier Shamble and Willie Whitehead robbed the store and killed 26-year-old Nabil or "Sam" Al'Mogannahi, 24-year-old Gaber Alawi, also known as "David," and 16-year-old Mokbell or "Sam" Almujanhi.

Investigators called it a senseless act which led to five other arrests, all in connection to the murder case.

"It's a big tragedy and we're never going to forget about those great guys," said Tony Muhssem, cousin to the victims.

They were three men, three lives that ended at the Farmville Hustle Mart convenience store.

Three murders and three men charged.

365 days later, not a single day goes by where the family doesn't think of those three men.

"We remember them every single day," said Muhssem.

Muhssem says the family is only now beginning to heal and part of that healing is leaving it all behind. He says the family sold the Hustle Mart to new owners and plans to move away from Farmville. Muhssem says the community has been wonderful and they hate to leave it but the memories are too painful.

They're memories that still haunt those who were first on the scene that gruesome night. Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks was there until well past 4 a.m.

"We knew we had a terrible crime that had occurred," said Sheriff Elks, "and not knowing who was responsible… everybody was on high alert."

"We knew we needed to work hard. We needed to work fast and bring closure to this case immediately," Sheriff Elks continued.

Then Pitt County District Attorney Clark Everett said they will be seeking the death penalty in the case but the family doesn't care what happens, the damage has already been done.

"We always hope for the best but as far as right now, those guys are gone and our guys are gone and I don't care what's done, nothing's going to bring them back," said Muhssem.

The next court dates for the three key suspects are all this year. Antwan Anthony is scheduled for June 4th, Willie Whitehead is scheduled for August 29th and Xavier Shamble on May 9th.

 

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The Pitt County District Attorney will seek the death penalty in the Farmville triple murder case.

Antwan Anthony, Willie Whitehead, and Xavier Shamble are each charged with 3 counts of murder.

At what is called a "Rule 24 Hearing," DA Clark Everett formally gave notice to Anthony and Whitehead that they will face the death penalty if they're convicted of the murders.

However, Shamble's attorney could not be present so his formal notice will be given at a later time.

News that the prosecution is seeking capital punishment came as good news for some.

"We were expecting that and we're very pleased that it is moving in that direction," said Neil Elks, Pitt County Sheriff.

Kuante Stanley and Montrell Washington are also facing the death penalty.

They have been charged in a March double murder on Academy Drive in Greenville.

In the same courtroom this morning as the Farmville defendants, Stanley and Washington were given their "Rule 24 Hearing".

During the hearing, the DA said they are seeking the death penalty, in part, because they feel it was a double murder and that 1st degree kidnapping was also involved.

No date was give as to when the trial would begin.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - 9 On Your Side takes a look back at an emotional week capped off by the arrests of 4 suspects in a triple murder at the Farmville Hustle Mart 3.

Three of those suspects could face the maximum sentence if convicted in the weekend killings at the Hustle Mart.

Antwan Anthony, Xavier Shamble and Willie Whitehead made their first court appearance Thursday morning.  

The three could face the maximum sentence of death or life in prison without parole if convicted in the killings of 26-year-old Nabil or "Sam" Al'Mogannahi, 24-year-old Gaber Alawi, also known as "David," and 16-year-old Mokbell or "Sam" Almujanhi.  

The suspects do not have their own lawyers, and requested court-appointed lawyers.

They're currently being held in prison without bond.

Their next court appearance is April 19th.  

The fourth suspect, a juvenile, has not yet been identified.  

For the first time, the family of one of the suspects talked with 9 On Your Side. Antwan Anthony's aunt, Wanda Foreman, tells us her nephew has had a mental illness his whole life and that her heart goes out to the victims' family.

"They lost three members. Three. And that's not right because if it was the other way around I probably would be in their shoes feeling the same way they feel right now. Right now I do feel them. I feel the pain that they're going through. Because it could have been them other three. They could have been dead. The people in the store could have had a gun and shot them. And then what would we be doing? We'd be grieving just like them. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart that this happened. And it shouldn't have," she said.

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FARMVILLE, N.C. – Suspects in the killings of 3 Hustle Mart employees in Farmville over the weekend will be in court Thursday.

29-year-old Antwan Anthony, 19-year-old Xavier Shamble and a juvenile were arrested Wednesday morning. 

A 4th suspect, 23-year-old Willie Whitehead was also arrested later in the day. Deputies have not said what role whitehead played in the murders.

All 4 suspects face multiple charges - including 3 counts each of murder, first degree kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Antwan Anthony and Xavier Shamble will make their first court appearance this morning. 9 On Your Side will be in the courtroom and We'll bring you updates as they become available, and bring you updates as they become available.

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FARMVILLE, N.C. - Investigators say four men are in custody for the deadly shooting at the Hustle Mart 3 in Farmville.

29-year-old Antwan Anthony and 19-year-old Xavier Shamble, along with an unnamed juvenile, face multiple charges including three counts each of murder, kidnapping, and robbery.

A fourth suspect, 23-year-old Willie Whitehead, was also arrested late Wednesday afternoon.

Officials announced three of the arrests this afternoon in front of the store.

All three of the adult suspects have prior criminal records.

According to court records, Shamble just got out of prison three weeks ago for possession of a weapon with an altered ID. Whitehead has an extensive criminal history, including robbery with a dangerous weapon and Anthony has a 2002 assault charge.

Their first court appearance will be tomorrow morning at 8.

Detectives say tips from the Farmville community played a key role in cracking the case.

Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks was visibly emotional as he announced the arrests Wednesday morning. He says he's confident his team got the right people off the streets.

"This is what we get up in the morning for guys, we get out here and make a difference as law enforcement officers. As terrible as this sounds, I'm very proud that these guys worked hard, tirelessly to bring closure to this case," said Neil Elks, Pitt County Sheriff.

CrimeStoppers money will be distributed to several people.

The family of the men killed in Sunday night's shooting says they have finally have a sense of closure.

"It just makes us feel great to just know that these guys are in custody and they're going to get what they deserve," said cousin, Tony Muhssen.

They say it's too early to say when or if the store will reopen.

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FARMVILLE, N.C. - Deputies said Tuesday that they're getting more clues into the killings of three convenience store workers.

26-year-old Nabil or "Sam" Al'Mogannahi, 24-year-old Gaber Alawi, also known as "David," and 16-year-old Mokbell or "Sam" Almujanhi were all shot to death Sunday night at the Hustle Mart 3 store off Stantonsburg Road in Farmville.

A spokesperson for the sheriffs office said ever since the surveillance videos were released of the three suspects in this case, tips have been pouring in.

At a news conference just before noon, spokesperson Christy Wallace said they've interviewed several potential witnesses, including some students at Farmville Central High, where one of the victims, 16-year-old Sammy was a student.

She said detectives feel like they are getting closer to solving the case.

A reward of $10,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest, but so far none have been made.

A cousin of the family spoke out for the first time Tuesday. He says the family is still trying to make sense of this all, but the community support has been overwhelmingly helpful.

Meanwhile, the three victims were laid to rest on Tuesday.

The funeral took place at the Al-Masjid Islamic Center and Mosque in Greenville at 1:00 p.m. The family allowed anyone who wished to attend to do so as long as they dressed in proper Mosque attire.

The burial took place in Beaufort County following the funeral.

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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) - Deputies say 3 convenience store employees were shot and killed. 

It happened around 10 last night at the Hustle Mart 3 in Farmville, just off Highway 121. 

All three of the employees were related.

The Hustle Mart 3 was a family-operated store. 

And while detectives believe the motive behind all this was cash, they say the suspects likely walked in with intent to kill.

"It was very tragic, very disturbing and 100% unnecessary," said Neil Elks, Pitt County Sheriff.

"These guys were not professional at this. They were very messy," said Christy Wallace, Pitt Co. Sheriff's Office.

Detectives were up all night canvassing the scene.

"What we're doing is combing the entire area and checking for any leads. We're looking for items that might have been discarded, we look for evidence they may have dropped. We're just looking for anything they may have dropped, a hat a ski mask a glove, anything that may have helped identify the suspects," said Elks.

What started as a robbery turned deadly just before closing time.

"My belief, they came in here with intent to kill them. They came in here to rob them, but it just seems like when someone is cooperating most of the time they give them the money and the suspects leave," said Wallace.

The victims, 26-year-old Nabil , or "Sam" Al'Mogannahi, 24-year-old Gaber Alawi , also known as "David," and 16-year-old Mokbell or "Sam" Almujanhi.

All three of the victims were related. All three shot dead.

"They were very nice people that would do anything for you and if they needed anything they'd let you have it, take care of it later or whatever. It's just so devastating that something like this would happen," said Robert Armstrong, Farmville resident.

Now detectives are hoping surveillance photos of the three suspects will help crack the case.

"It appears the suspects were somewhat familiar with the store. That could have come from frequenting the store, could have come from having the store on surveillance for a short period of time. Generally, people in the community know that the store closes around 10 o'clock, said Elks.

Law enforcement officials made it clear, they're not going anywhere until the case is solved.

"They are on a major adrenaline. They want to catch these guys today," said Wallace.

"We feel like the robbery was somewhat prepared. It appears that one was maybe a lookout, maybe one was more aggressive and I'm really hoping that this guy that was involved in this, maybe the lookout and he had no idea this was going to happen. It's very important if he knows something about this case, he needs to come forward...now," said Elks.

Sheriff Elks says tips have already been coming in since the surveillance photos were released.

CrimeStoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. The family is also offering a reward of $5,000, bringing the reward total to $10,000.

9 On Your Side has a team still at the scene and we'll bring you the latest beginning tonight at 5 and 6.

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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) - Pitt County deputies say three convenience store employees were shot and killed late Sunday night.  Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks says it happened just before ten o'clock at the Hustle Mart in Farmville at the intersection of Stantonsburg Rd. and Hwy 121.

Deputies are not releasing the victims' names while they notify family members.

To people who live near the Hustle Mart in Farmville it's a familiar store where you'll likely see a familiar face.  But just before ten o'clock, one unsuspecting customer stumbled onto a crime scene.

"She came into the store to purchase some items and was unable to locate anybody to start with and then she looked behind the counter and found that three subjects had been shot and were still behind the counter on the floor," said Neil Elks, Pitt County Sheriff.

Elks says three male employees, one of them a high school student, had been closing shop for the night. "One was actually mopping the floor it appears at the time when the intruder came in," he said.

Investigators are still piecing together how many intruders there were. They say cash was found scattered inside the store and out in the parking lot.

"I just don't understand why people do this kind of thing," said Bryant Oakley, property owner.

Oakley owns the property and has been renting it to a man for about four years. He says the man's son helps him out at the store on occasion. "We've had a couple robberies out here in the past years but nothing like this," he said.

Elks says it's been years since something like this has happened at a rural store in the county. "It's very sad," he said. "It's not something we hear and deal with daily but we are prepared to investigate this case. We've got approximately 20 officers on the scene as you can see and we're going to get to the bottom of it."

Sheriff Elks says there was no sign of struggle when investigators arrived. One of the employees was found dead at the scene. The other two were taken to the hospital where they later died.

Bryant Oakley says there were cameras inside the store. Deputies have released photos from those cameras.

If you have any information that can help authorities identify the suspects, please contact local law enforcement.

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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- We're following breaking news out of Pitt County.  The Pitt County Sheriff's Office confirms three people are dead following a shooting at the Hustle Mart in Farmville late Sunday night.

The Hustle Mart is located near the intersection of Stantonsburg Rd. and Highway 121.

Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks tells us the three people shot were employees of the store, one of which is a high school student.

9 On Your Side has a crew on the scene now.  We'll bring you the latest on this developing story as information becomes available.

 

 

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