Judge sets $1M bond for man accused of shooting mother

by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have charged a man in the home invasion and shooting of a young mother inside her east Charlotte home.

CMPD charged Reco Latur Dawkins Jr., 23, with attempted murder, felony breaking and entering and conspiracy to commit felony breaking and entering in the home invasion and shooting of 21-year-old Samantha Bunce last Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, the judge set the bond for Dawkins at $1 million.

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Dawkins turned himself in to police on Saturday morning. He was interviewed by detectives and after the interview he was taken into custody.

Dawkins was convicted of two previous break-ins and court records showed that charges in three other break-ins in 2014 had been dismissed, including one off Wilkinson Boulevard where officers caught Dawkins and a second suspect hiding under the house. 

“We know they were attempting,” the victim in that case told Eyewitness News.” That's the part that gets a little bit frustrating because we know the guys were free after this.” 

That victim heard about the break-in and shooting that sent Bunce to the hospital and wondered if it would have been different if Dawkins had been prosecuted in her case and the others in 2014. 

“Yes, and I feel really bad for the woman who wasn't expecting anyone to come breaking through the door,” she said.

A close friend of Bunce who visited her in the hospital over the weekend said her recovery is going well.

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The day after Charlotte-Mecklenburg police announced an arrest in the break-in and shooting of a young mother at her home in northeast Charlotte, neighbors said the community is still on edge.

“We’re still freaking out about what happened,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

He said he learned about the arrest of Dawkins around noon Sunday.

A man who came to the door at the address he gave court officials said he did not know where Dawkins had been the week before.

Police are still looking for a second person in the attack who has not yet been identified.

Bunce’s husband told Eyewitness News on Monday that she has her ups and downs and is still facing a long road to recovery.

After visiting her in the hospital Saturday, her neighbor said he has no doubt she will make it.

“She's doing fantastic. She's a warrior.  She's still beat up but she'll make it out,” he said.


Soldier improving in hospital after home-invasion shooting

A community is rallying around a young mother who was shot inside her home in east Charlotte.

Semantha Bunce, 21, remains at Carolinas Medical Center with serious injuries caused by at least two gunshot wounds.

Bunce was shot by intruders who kicked in the front door to her home on Matlea Court Tuesday morning, police said. Those responsible remain on the loose.

On Wednesday, family members shared pictures of the mother and her family, including the couple’s 4-month-old son.

Bunce was feeding the baby when the assailants forced their way into the home.

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Bunce met the intruders at her bedroom door and when the men opened fire on her in the stairwell area, she fired back, her husband said.

“I think it was a shock to the intruders just as much as it was to her,” said Paul Bunce, her husband.

Paul told Channel 9 his wife is a combat medic with the National Guard. He believes her training allowed her to stay mentally focused and calm during what was a fight for her life. 

“They've got a long journey,” said one neighbor outside the Bunce family’s home.

Since the shooting, neighbors have embraced the family. Many stopped by the house and offered their thoughts and prayers for a mother who risked it all to protect her own.

Family members said Semantha will need at least one more surgery.

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“The victim, she made it through surgery and she seems to be doing alright,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Capt. Chuck Henson said.

Henson said they've added extra patrols in the neighborhood.

“It's a big shock to find something going on like that just a few houses down,” said another neighbor who did not want to be identified.

There have been three break-ins in the neighborhood this year, but none of them led to the kind of violence involved in Tuesday's incident.

“This investigation is going full force ahead,” Henson said. “They're working it very, very hard and I'm very confident that we'll have an arrest in it at some point.”

Police haven't released descriptions of the intruders.

A GoFundMe account was set up for Semantha. Click here to help.

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