Argument over pet rabbit may have led to deadly shooting at northwest Charlotte motel

CHARLOTTE — Search warrants show an argument over a pet rabbit may have led to a deadly shooting at a northwest Charlotte motel.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have arrested and charged two people in connection with the crime.

Police said the shooting happened around 9 a.m. Saturday at the Econo Lodge Hotel on Glenwood Drive, near Interstate 85. That day, officers found two people who had been shot. Both were seriously hurt and MEDIC rushed them to the hospital. Police said Jayeshbhai Ravajibhai Patel, 55, died at the hospital.

Detectives identified Devion De’Maquay Brown, 20, and Tasjah Williams, 22, as suspects in Patel’s murder. Brown is charged with murder and attempted murder. Williams is charged with felony aid and abetting murder, felony accessory after the fact, assault, larceny and injury to personal property.

Homicide detectives went to Leland to interview the pair before they were taken to the Brunswick County jail. They will be extradited back to Charlotte, CMPD said.

Authorities spoke to the other victim, who said he was working at the hotel when he was shot. He told police that Brown and Williams had walked into the office upset and were talking to Patel, saying someone stole their pet rabbit out of their room.

According to the victim, things escalated and when he turned his back to the suspects, he was shot several times. He told detectives that when he turned back around, he saw Patel shot on the ground. He then ran outside and called for help.

Police reviewed surveillance video, which they said showed Brown and Williams shooting the victims and then leaving the hotel. Authorities also said Williams had placed a 911 call earlier regarding the missing pet rabbit.

“We have a little bit of grainy video that we’re working through, but we’re unable to report out on exactly how many suspects that we’re looking at,” CMPD Maj. Cecil Brisbon said on Saturday. “We may be able to give an update after we get a chance to comb through some of the evidence.”

The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to CMPD at 704-432-TIPS. Information can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or by clicking here.

“What we really need is some help from the general public, not just bringing forth information that’s going to help us solve this case, but also to try and change the hearts and minds of the individuals in our community and other communities so that we can stop this senseless violence that has been occurring recently,” Brisbon said.

(WATCH BELOW: One killed in shooting in northwest Charlotte; CMPD investigating)