Man on verge of opening new business in north Charlotte shot to death, family says

Man on verge of opening new business in north Charlotte shot to death, family says

CHARLOTTE — A family is grieving after their loved one, in the midst of trying to open a new business in the north Charlotte community, was shot and killed.

It happened just after 7 p.m. Tuesday on Pegram Street at Parkwood Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood, which is just outside of uptown.

>> Reading this story in our app? The new “Follow the Lead” feature allows you to tap the blue tag indicated with a ‘+’ to subscribe to alerts on the very latest breaking news updates.

Content Continues Below

“Shortly after 7:15 this evening, we responded to a call for service at 1700 Pegram with one shot,” Maj. Cecil Brisbon said. “Shortly thereafter, the individual was transported to CMC. He has since been pronounced (dead).”

Crime scene investigators gathered evidence, including photos of bullet holes in the glass at the front of the business.

No arrests have been made and authorities have not released a possible suspect description. CMPD said they need everyone’s help to track down a suspect in this case.

“We can’t solve any of these cases without the input from citizens in this community,” Brisbon said.

Robert Darby
Robert Darby

The owner of the coffee shop where the shooting happened said her business has been closed since March when the pandemic hit. Police have not said if the shooting happened inside or outside the building.

The victim was identified by family members as 30-year-old Robert Darby. Relatives told Channel 9 Darby rented the business out and was going to open an arcade.

They said they had been at the coffee shop recently to clean it up and get it ready for the new business venture.

Darby’s family told Channel 9 an arrest would help bring them some closure.

“It would bring us all peace,” Darby’s sister, Roselyn Darby, said. “We just want to know why, what, who, when. Everybody knows me and my brother is one, so if y’all know something about someone or somebody knows something, if y’all know anything about what happened to my brother, y’all please come forward."

Curtis Bridges is president of Belmont’s neighborhood association. He said they’ve worked with police and seen crime steadily drop over the last seven years.

“When I moved here seven years ago there were far more shootings, far more crime in the neighborhood,” he said.

Bridges went to lunch with police chief Johnny Jennings and city councilman Larken Egleston Thursday. The meeting had been on his calendar for a couple of weeks, but Darby’s murder is a chilling reminder of what’s at stake.

“Meeting with the police chief to figure out how we can direct more resources to the community and direct more attention to the neighborhood so we can address these issues when they do happen,” Bridges said.

Darby’s slaying is Charlotte’s 99th homicide of 2020.

“These acts of violence are totally unnecessary and a lot of them go back to what most people would consider insignificant little conflicts that end up spinning out of control,” Brisbon said. “People are losing their lives for really simple things that shouldn’t be resolved with violence.”

No further information has been released.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.