Wilson County Restaurant Owner Killed in Home Invasion
Posted July 29, 2007 7:01 a.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2007 8:27 p.m. EDT
Stantonsburg, N.C. — Investigators believe that robbers specifically targeted the home of a Wilson County restaurant owner, who was killed during the home invasion and robbery just after 11 p.m. Saturday.
Song Ni, 34, was killed at his house at 107 Moyton Ave., according to sheriff’s office Major John Farmer. Ni was the owner of Jin Jin Chinese Restaurant, 104 Moyton Ave.
Ni's girlfriend said that the couple moved from China to Stantonsburg to open the restaurant three years ago.
Customer remembered the owners as being friendly.
"I talk to them when I eat over there and things like that, and they just don't every bother nobody," said Don Webb, a customer at the restaurant.
According to investigators, a male and female employee closed the restaurant Saturday night and walked across the street to his house, where they also lived, officials said.
The female employee was carrying a large sum of cash in her pocket from the day’s sales.
As the two employees walked into Ni’s house through a car port, three masked men with guns told them to get inside, be quiet and get on the ground, sheriff’s officials said.
The masked men stole about $700 from the woman’s pocket, according to investigators.
The gunmen then forced the employees into a back bedroom, where Ni’s girlfriend and two daughters, ages 5 and 2, were hiding. The robbers also searched that room, said officials.
Those in the house later heard a gunshot and found Ni dead in another room.
Investigators said the three men ran down the street after the robbery and got in a vehicle parked at the nearby Stantonsburg Community Center. Sheriff’s officials do not have a description of the vehicle.
Investigators said they don’t know why the men killed Ni, but they think the robbery was planned.
The attackers probably knew when the restaurant closed and that the employees lived across the street and carried the cash to their home each night, said Wilson County Sheriff Wayne Gay.
The three robbers were described as black men, but family members were unable to provide detailed descriptions due to the masks covering the robbers’ faces.
Investigators plan to set up a check point in front of Ni’s house from 10:15 to 11:45 p.m. Sunday to ask passing motorists if they can provide any leads.
If you have information about this case, call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office at 252-237-2118.