Local News

Four charged in Pitt County convenience store deaths

Posted April 4, 2012
Updated April 5, 2012

— Investigators have arrested four people in a fatal triple shooting at a convenience store over the weekend, Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks said Wednesday.

Elks called the suspects "cold-blooded killers" and, according to court documents, at least three of them have criminal records. 

Mokbel Mohamed "Sam" Almujanhi, 16, Nabil Nasser Saeed Al'mogannahi, 26, and Gaber Alawi, 24, were found dead Sunday night inside the Hustle Mart, at the corner of Stantonsburg Road and N.C. Highway 121, in Farmville.

A customer who arrived at the store around 10 p.m. found the three bodies behind the counter.

Antwan Andre Anthony, 29, Xavier Montel Shamble, 19, and a juvenile were arrested Tuesday night. Willie Whitehead, 23, was charged Wednesday afternoon.

"My guys have been very motivated, very determined and have been running on adrenaline for three days," Elks said. "This is a victory for us. We're very pleased, very proud, that we've got these guys in custody."

The four face multiple charges, including three counts each of murder, first-degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.

Anthony is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of possession of stolen goods. Shamble also faces one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to the state Division of Adult Correction, Shamble was released from prison March 12 after serving five months of an eight-month sentence on two charges, one of them, carrying a concealed weapon.

Sheriff Neil Elks Sheriff: Farmville store shooting suspects 'cold-blooded killers'

Whitehead was released from prison in August after serving 18 months for larceny and had been in prison multiple times prior to that on convictions of breaking and entering, robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Anthony had moved to North Carolina from Connecticut and was on probation for assault charges from 2002, records show.

Authorities say Almujanhi's father owned the store and that Al'mogannahi and Alawi were family members who had recently moved from New York to help with the business.

Almujanhi had been mopping the floor at the time of the attack, authorities said.

"The investigation and the video showed us this was a very tragic, appalling, unimaginable murder – senseless murder,' Elks said.

Surveillance photos released Monday of three men with guns inside the store were instrumental in solving the case, Capt. Paula Dance, with the sheriff's office, said.

"We put that video out there, and this community really pulled together," she said.

By Tuesday, detectives had received more than 100 tips – the most ever received for a single crime. Several led to the arrests.

Tony Muhssen, a cousin of the victims, said Wednesday that his family is grateful that arrests have been made.

"We are still trying to recover from all this, but it is a relief to everyone," Muhssen said. "We are so proud of our law enforcement."

"It is just great that these guys are off the street, because our streets and our community is a lot safer without them."


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  • arljsl Apr 5, 2012

    @aprilhunter220........I could not had said that better myself!

  • Lovemy2kids Apr 5, 2012

    This is a very sad situation for the family of those who were shot. I am sure they are keeping up with the news about the killings. Come on people....stop with the negative comments.

  • aprilhunter220 Apr 5, 2012

    WRAL probably won't post this but you moderaters listen up...
    Why are people surprised that it was 4 black people in Pitt Co. that did this? The "juvenile" probably won't face the death penalty either but he can go out and kill someone but won't face the same fate that the rest of them deserve. Then again if they get the death penalty they will sit on death row for 20yrs. so just put them in prison and throw away the key.
    They will claim they were abused as children and didn't know any better. They will act like the victims which makes me sick.
    I say an eye for an eye.

  • smhnraleigh Apr 5, 2012

    The state will appoint them a defense attorney, who along with a DA, will plea bargain it down to second degree murder. They'll be sentenced to less than 20 years, and will serve half of that. All due to a lazy justice system.

  • lumberman Apr 5, 2012

    Just give these boys a hug and turn them back out. At least we won't have to pick up the tabb for them just lying around. Is this better WRAL ?

  • myrtlebeachrock Apr 5, 2012

    People in Pitt County don't mess around. I bet they get death.

  • dennis23 Apr 5, 2012

    Send them to Yemen to stand trial. They don't mess around with court delays and plea bargaining. These people did not deserve this.

  • PITNSMOKE Apr 5, 2012

    I am proud of the authorities and the job they done to catch the senceless people.I hope the one that shot these people recieves the death penalty. I don't know if getting the people in office out will change anything, because people lie,waste money, and avoid issue's to get voted in.I'm 43 and have yet seen lawmakers push the issue on speedy trials and death penalties on cases were cameras are used as evidence or where there is absolutley no doubt a person is guilty.

  • Tarheel born Apr 5, 2012

    And that includes the alledged juvenile....

  • Tarheel born Apr 5, 2012

    I will be glad to be Judge, Jury and easiest of all EXECUTIONER!! And I wouldn't lose one second of sleep over it either.