Deputies arrest ‘armed and dangerous’ suspect in college football player’s slaying

HICKORY, N.C. — Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the deadly shooting of a Lenoir-Rhyne University football player that happened in Hickory on Nov. 20.

At around 1 a.m., officers responded to a shots fired call at the Civitan Courts Apartments on 17th Avenue. According to police, 19-year-old Omari Drovon Alexander was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat of a black 2015 Chevrolet Camaro with the engine running.

He had been shot several times, police said, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Quavius Shamond Izard, 21, was arrested at about 5:40 p.m. Nov. 24, police announced. Deputies in Caldwell county arrested him more than 40 miles away from where Alexander was murdered, in the small community of Edgemont. A couple found Izard hiding in the back of their SUV after he climbed into it in Lenoir.

“He was in the trunk area of the vehicle,” said Lt Cody Greene with Caldwell Sheriffs Office. “And they had no idea he was in the vehicle until they got home... They actually held him at gunpoint for the time being and then things started to calm down. They believed that he was not a threat.”

Police confirmed to Channel 9 they believed Izard had been living in the car for more than a day. They said he likely didn’t realize when he got in that he would end up in such a remote area.

He was charged with first-degree murder and is in jail under no bond. Channel 9 also found out Izard had several other pending charges including breaking and entering into a motor vehicle and some drug arrests.

Earlier, Hailee Maureen Melanson, 20, was charged with felony accessory after the fact and is being held in the Catawba County Jail under no bond.

Investigators have not yet released a motive for the shooting.

Izard appeared before a judge Monday morning in Newton. Court documents say Melanson helped Izard escape from the crime scene.

When Izard appeared before the judge, he asked very few questions as the judge explained the charge. Authorities said hours before the murder, Izard had posted on Facebook he wanted to sell an X-box video game.

Police said he didn’t know Alexander but they have not said what the motive was behind the deadly shooting.

Lenoir-Rhyne University said Alexander was a sophomore from Concord who was on the football team after graduating from Mallard Creek High School, where he was a standout player.

A neighbor said she heard the gunshots and believes her door camera caught an image of someone pulling into the parking lot a few minutes earlier.

“We have issues with people from outside coming in and we had somebody shooting out here a few months ago, but it’s not people who live here,” a neighbor said.

Students from across Lenoir-Rhyne University gathered on Monday to remember their classmate. More than 700 students, faculty and also some of Omari Alexander’s family showed up on campus for the memorial service, where they had set up an empty chair with Alexander’s jersey and helmet on it.

Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty spoke with several of Alexander’s teammates who said they were leaning on each other to get through the tragedy. One teammate, Ian Brinson, was an offensive lineman and practiced right next to Alexander, who was a tight end at the school.

“We don’t know all the details, but it doesn’t really matter,” said Ian Brinson. “We lost a teammate. A brother.”

“We’re leaning on each other and just reading the Bible as much as we can and focusing on God,” said Jacob Fisher.

Students said because of the smaller size of the school, a lot of people knew Alexander and are heartbroken by what happened. J’Trell Washington went to Mallard Creek High School with him. They both played football and ended up at Lenoir-Rhyne University together.

“I didn’t believe it,” Washington said. “I don’t see what could have been that serious to take his life. He was just a kid. He wasn’t in any danger and wouldn’t have presented any danger to anybody. He was just a nice person. I don’t see why.”

Police said they have nearly every detective working the case trying to determine a motive behind the shooting.

The murder has left the community reeling. Aallyah White is another neighbor in Civitan Courts Apartments who was affected by the shooting after losing her own cousin to gun violence only a few months ago.

“I just wanted to put the flowers and put the football right there and light the candles ... ‘cause something like that happened in my family,” White said.

Since Alexander’s death, the university has offered counseling for the nearly 2,000 students who attend Lenoir-Rhyne.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551 or contact Investigator David Moore at 828-261-2686.

Return to wsoctv.com for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Homicide victim drove to gas station after being shot, CMPD says)