Local News

Rocky Mount Police Investigate Murder At Convenience Store

Posted January 14, 2003

— Rocky Mount police are investigating the murder of a convenience store manager.

Police said 48-year-old Ernestine Harper was shot and killed inside the Virginia Street Grocery Store on Myrtle Avenue around 10 p.m. Monday. Harper was part owner and manager of the store.

"I tried to talk to her, but she couldn't talk,so I just didn't know what to do," said Johnny Gray, Harper's friend. "When I went in there, I saw her in the corner, and her cash register was open. All of the money was gone except for the change."

Police believe the motive is robbery. So far, they have no suspects, and they are asking for the public's help.

"I can't understand why somebody would want to kill her," said Lillian Goode, Harper's friend. "If they want to take the money, take the money, but let her live."

Said Alton Bullock, Harper's nephew: "She would do certain things for certain people in the neighborhood - families that were not as fortunate as other people - and for such a tragic thing to happen like this, words just cannot explain it."

Harper leaves behind two children, a grandchild and a mother whom she cared for.

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