Local News

Sister of murdered Fayetteville security guard says shooting 'may be a hate crime'

A Hope Mills man was charged Tuesday in connection with the fatal shooting of a Fayetteville security guard, police said.

Posted Updated

By
Aaron Thomas
, WRAL reporter
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A Hope Mills man was charged Tuesday in connection with the fatal shooting of a Fayetteville security guard, police said.

Dahsir Thomas Welch, 22, who was already in jail on unrelated charges, now faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He was being held without bond in the Cumberland County jail.

Jerry Smothers, 63, was working at the Clarion Hotel, at 1944 Cedar Creek Road, on June 5 when he was shot, police said. The shooter took Smothers' wallet and his GMC Sierra pickup truck, which was found a few days later in some woods near South View High School.

Smothers was in critical condition at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for five days before his family took him off life support.

Smothers' sister, Mary Jo Hinton, lives in Mississippi, but spoke with WRAL on the phone Tuesday.

"The family is devastated, we're never going to get over this," she said.

Hinton says she’s convinced Welch had a motive in mind.

"We're beginning to feel like it may be a hate crime," she said. "I think this boy set out to do harm to an elderly white person, according to what's on his Facebook page, and I think he just happened to pull my brother."

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