Deputies: 3 arrested in killing of Rowan Co. store owner

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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Three men have been arrested in connection with Monday’s killing of a Rowan County convenience store owner, deputies said.

Rowan County deputies confirmed to Channel 9 that Kevin Lamont Canzater, 20, Christopher Lee Watson, 23, and Maurice Robinson, 23, have been taken into custody.

Deputies said Watson shot Hecham Abualeinan during a robbery at the Z and H Mart Monday night.   

Investigators released images of possible witnesses to the slaying Tuesday night.  They said the two men in the video, Robinson and Canzator, entered the store and made a small purchase just before the gunman, Watson, entered.

Authorities said Abualeinan was shot in the head after he confronted Watson.  Watson then went around the victim's body and opened the cash register, stealing money, and then fled the store, deputies said.

Deputies said Robinson and Canzator turned themselves in to police Tuesday after seeing their pictures on the news.

Investigators were able to gather enough information about the killing to arrest Watson.

All three men have been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree murder, deputies said.

Police are crediting the public's help along with the media for airing the surveillance photos on the news.

Customers visited the store Tuesday to pay their respects and leave a small memorial to the victim they called a nice guy.

“He was really kind to people, really kind to people,” customer Vickie Currin said. “You'd come in here and he was always kind to you, talked to you and stuff like that.”

Channel 9 is working to learn more details about the arrest.

Stay with wsoctv.com for updates on this breaking news story.