Local News

Man charged in downtown Raleigh barbershop slaying

Posted August 9, 2010

— Police on Monday charged a Raleigh man with murder following a morning shooting at a downtown Raleigh barbershop that left one man dead.

Officers responded to the shooting at Total Styles and Cuts, 203 E. Cabarrus St., at about 9:15 a.m. and found James Edward Hamer, 29, of Raleigh, dead inside the shop, police said.

A source familiar with the investigation said that Hamer was in the barber's chair getting a haircut when someone ran into the shop, shot him and fled.

Police arrested Roger Onaje McKenzie, 23, at his home on Blacklan Circle late Monday afternoon and charged him with Hamer's death.

A week ago, a store owner was stabbed during a robbery of his men's clothing outlet on South Wilmington Street, about three blocks from the site of Monday's shooting.

"I don't think it's setting any type of trend in downtown," said Ron Dickerson, who owns the historic building where the barbershop is located.

Dickerson said the five retail tenants on the first floor of his building, which was built in 1907 and housed meeting space for local Masons, have remained fairly stable in the last five years.

"It tells the story our tenants. They like being here, and they like the neighborhood," he said.

The building is on the edge of downtown's revitalization efforts. Across the street, a former car wash has been turned into a mix of retail and condos.

"They have renovated and made the neighborhood a vital place to live," Dickerson said. "We think a lot of positive things are going to come from this neighborhood."

Tom Walsh, whose daughter lives about a block from the barbershop, said he was stunned to learn of the slaying.

"My daughter's lived here for a little over a year and never commented on any crime or anything like that," Walsh said. "(It's always been) a very safe neighborhood. ... I've never been worried about my daughter in Raleigh till now."


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  • ForTheLoveOf Aug 11, 2010

    Thanks GOLO moderators...Let's not put my comment in about how it seems as if Yourhighness69 is defending gangs and murder suspects, but allow her to suggest that a suspect disrespect a court judge by telling them "who the (blank) are they." That's a much classier comment than mine.

  • amelia4l Aug 10, 2010

    Are you people who are saying that Downtown Raleigh is not safe serious.? Most if you Comment on what you hear.! Crime is Crime it happens EVERYWHERE . My thoughts and Prayers go out to BOTH the Shooter and Victim's Family. ! Side Note: Yall gotta get it together.

  • iworkandpaytaxes Aug 10, 2010

    This was obviously not random. Some people don't need gov to handle their issues. They handle it themselves. When the suspect gets his day in court he should tell the judge "only God can judge who the F are you".

  • HanginTough Aug 10, 2010

    and yall are surprised...seriously!

  • maduda Aug 10, 2010

    Arm yourselves responsibly, train yourselves properly, to be able to protect and defend yourselves ultimately.

    This is an isolated incident, of which happen all over every town. Our economy is in a low period. This trend ALWAYS brings more crime until things improve, though this seems unrelated. Be ready to defend what's yours and let no one take it from you, not especially the government under the guise of peace.

  • oleguy Aug 9, 2010

    Eye for an Eye,, our courts system is a joke,,, most lawyers are the blame,,, If you punish guilty people to the Max and fast, they would slow down..
    Lock and load protect yourself amd your family, the court system will not

  • cbdtnt919 Aug 9, 2010


  • NoObamaCare Aug 9, 2010

    cbdtnt919- Any word on the suspect or a motive?

  • cbdtnt919 Aug 9, 2010

    My prayers go out to his family.....They just caught the man who did this....Im sure he will b taken care of....What is really going on here in this world....SAD SAD....This isnt what GOD want...The killn and stealing has to STOP...We all need to get along Think about it we have to live 2gether,work together,our children play together...The mean remarks need to stop....

  • NoObamaCare Aug 9, 2010

    Commit a crime then hop on the train; how convienant!