by: Jeff Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A deaf man was trying to take his girlfriend Christmas shopping when he was ambushed, robbed and murdered in North Charlotte Friday night, according to several family members.
Three teenagers were arrested and charged with beating and stabbing 21-year-old Michael Shull to death in the middle of the street.
Family members said Shull was casually acquainted with the man and women charged with killing him.
"To him deafness wasn't a handicap. It was an obstacle to overcome and he overcame it every day," said his sister, Samana Delashmit.
Shull graduated last year from the state School for the Deaf in Morganton. He recently got a full-time job working as a mechanic at a local shop, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
"He was always kind to everybody," said his older brother Nicholas Capito. "And if somebody needed something, he tried to make sure they could have it."
Shull was discovered Friday night in the front yard of a house on Crestdale Drive in North Charlotte. His car was parked in the middle on the middle street.
Detectives said he had been beaten and stabbed. His wallet and cell phone were also missing, according to family.
On Saturday, police arrested 18-year-old Aveance Bryant and charged her with murder.
"All he had to was smile, and it would brighten anybody's day," remembered Capito. "As a brother and a person, he would show you nothing but love."
Shull lived in Conover with his parents, but he was in Charlotte Friday night to pick up his girlfriend -- who is also deaf -- and take her Christmas shopping. The two had been dating seriously for a year.
"They took advantage of the fact that he had money for the holiday," his brother said. "He had just gotten paid, just gotten a Christmas bonus, and they took advantage of it."
On Sunday morning, police made two more arrests -- 18-year-old Davonta Turner and 19-year-old Ashley Owens.
Shull's family said the three suspects were close friends of his girlfriend. Shull was only casually acquainted with them.
All three suspects are charged with murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Eyewitness News is not naming Shull's girlfriend. She is not charged with a crime and family members don't believe she knew what her friends were conspiring to do.
Shull is the youngest of four children. Family members are grieving in Conover, and funeral arrangements haven't been finalized.