WINGATE, N.C. — The man accused of shooting another man to death Monday morning in Wingate during a Facebook Live video will face a judge for the first time Wednesday.
Officials with Union County Emergency Medical Services said the shooting happened around 10 a.m. Monday on Jerome Street in Wingate, just a few streets from the police department.
Authorities identified the victim as 55-year-old Prentis Robinson and said the suspected shooter is Douglas Colson, 65.
Colson was on the run all day, wanted on a murder charge, and police said he turned himself in Tuesday morning. Investigators have tried to speak with him but they told Channel 9 Colson has asked for an attorney.
Robinson was seen Monday morning on a Facebook Live complaining about a family member stealing one of his three cellphones.
Police said that the shooting may have been retaliation.
Viewers of his Facebook Live could see him stopping at the Wingate Police Department to report the theft. After he left the police department, he walked up a hill toward his home on Booker Street.
A short time later, Robinson exchanged a few words with another man that suddenly appeared, and then there was gunfire.
Wingate Police Chief Donnie Gay was at a loss for words after the shooting, noting that it happened moments after Robinson left the police station.
"I'd just spoke to him, it was, I just ... it's hard to say anything about that. I just got through talking to him," Gay said.
Robinson was found facedown in the street and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Terry Rivers watched in horror as his friend was shot to death.
"When I heard the shots, I was like 'God Almighty,'" Rivers said.
Channel 9 spoke to Charles Baker, who knew Robinson for more than 30 years. He couldn't believe that someone could just shoot and kill his friend.
"That just unreal. For somebody to have that kind of heart to just walk out in the open like that and kill a man, that's just, it's nonsense," Baker said.
Police said that several people recognized the shooter and his voice.
Robinson often did Facebook Live streams, sometimes calling out suspected drug dealers, police said. Robinson had mentioned Colson by name, who was convicted of selling drugs in 2010.
"I can't really substantiate what his claims were, but I do know he was taking great pride in trying to clean up his neighborhood," Gay said.
The deadly shooting caused a lockdown at Wingate University, which is less than a mile from the scene. Wingate Elementary School was also placed on lockdown.
No shots were fired on campus, but it left students, teachers, and staff on edge.
Celestia Randolph told Channel 9 that she and other students huddled in a teacher's office during the lockdown.
Victoria Shoaf saw police in bulletproof gear with rifles outside her dorm window.
"I just prayed 'cause that's the only thing I could do," Shoaf said.
Wingate University tweeted that police said Colson was armed with a long gun.
Wingate police said the Union County Sheriff's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are assisting with the investigation.
University officials set up counselors for students who needed to talk about the lockdown and the fear they experienced when they believed there was an imminent threat.
Robinson’s friends are organizing a car wash fundraiser from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday to help his family with funeral expenses. It will be at the Harris Teeter in Monroe near the mall.
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