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Police: Man dies of heart attack after home invasion

Posted September 4, 2009

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— Rocky Mount police said that a 57-year-old man died of a heart attack after an armed man robbed him and his daughter in their home early Friday.

Amy Harper, 35, told police that she woke around 1 a.m. to the sound of glass breaking in her home in the 4800 block of Crape Myrtle Street. She got up to investigate and found a man pointing a gun at her father, Alton Lee Harper, police said. The man then pointed the gun at her and demanded money.

Amy Harper told police she gave the man a lock box, and he ran out the back door. Her father ran after him but couldn't find him. He came back to the house and called police.

Alton Harper spoke outside with officers, then went back into house, where he collapsed, police said. Paramedics transported him to the hospital, where he died. Police said he died of a heart attack.

A K-9 search did not find the gunman.

Anyone with information about the crime should call police Detective Renee Walcott at 252-972-1680 or Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information that solves certain felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.

19 Comments

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  • davidnc78 Sep 4, 2009

    u better be glad it want my father. thats all i got to say

  • MamaDummy Sep 4, 2009

    Just plain sad. What a waste. What is wrong with people. We are hearing more and more about home invasions...think it might be related to hard times?

  • suckafree23 Sep 4, 2009

    hollylama......

    Yes you can be charged with murder/manslaughter, if it happened as a direct or indirect reaction of a felony crime being committed. I've seen it happen.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 4, 2009

    "When is a person safe in their "own" home?"

    When they are armed, as well.

  • caniacincary Sep 4, 2009

    This is a classic case of felony murder! If you are commiting a felony and someone dies as a direct or indirect result of it, that is felony murder. For example, if you are robbing a bank and a teller drops dead when you ask for the money, even if the robber does not have a gun, that is Felony Murder!

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Sep 4, 2009

    When they catch him they will charge him with murder, plea down to manslaughter, will be out in less than 2 years.

  • 007KnightRider Sep 4, 2009

    "The criminal can't be charged with murder. If he had the heart attack during the initial break in, then yeah. The fact that he talked to police and exhibited no usual signs will have this case dismissed." - hollylama

    Yes, he CAN be charged with murder. The heart attack is related to the break-in. The man got all nervous, heart pumping and upset leading up to a heart attack. He literary got scared to death no pun intended. It's simple, had the robber not broken in, the victim will still be alive and well.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 4, 2009

    Definitely should be charged with some form of murder or manslaughter. It was an armed robbery and this man's death was DIRECTLY related to the crime.

  • hollylama Sep 4, 2009

    The criminal can't be charged with murder. If he had the heart attack during the initial break in, then yeah. The fact that he talked to police and exhibited no usual signs will have this case dismissed.

    Prayers for the lost!

  • suckafree23 Sep 4, 2009

    Yes, they can be charges with some type of murder, and since it happened during a felony robbery the charges could be worse.

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