Reward doubled for information in murder of beloved sandwich shop co-owner

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police have increased the reward for information leading to an arrest in the murder of a beloved sandwich show co-owner who was killed as he was going to work in NoDa.

CrimeStoppers has increased the reward to $11,000, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

Police said someone out there knows something about this case and they urged whoever knows something to come forward and share.

Two people tried to rob Scott Brooks before shooting him to death outside his family business in NoDa.

Detectives said they are looking for two suspects in the homicide investigation that has shaken an entire community.

The shooting happened just before 5 a.m. on North Brevard Street outside Brooks’ Sandwich House, near Heist Brewery​.

Police said they were responding to a shots-fired call when they found 61-year-old Brooks suffering from a gunshot wound outside the eatery.

According to police, they have received “a ton of tips”, but none have led to an arrest.

Police said they have been reviewing video from residents in the community and are stepping up their search for the shooter.

They have not released any video connected to the case.

“People have been stopping and talking to us throughout the day and telling us what Scott meant to them, and there’s this memorial behind us,” said CMPD Lt. Bryan Crum, Violent Crime Division. “I think it is really a testament to what he meant to the community.”

Since the shooting, visitor after visitor has stopped by Brooks’ Sandwich House to drop off flowers and light candles in honor of the long-time fixture.

Channel 9 spoke with a neighbor who said he heard four shots and when he looked outside, he saw officers trying to help Brooks.

Officers tried to perform CPR, but he did not survive.

The community has rallied around Scott Brooks and his family. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family and by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, it hit its $20,000 goal.

There was a vigil on Tuesday night to honor Scott Brooks’ life. It was held at the Sandwich House on North Brevard Street.

“My heart is broken, but my spirit is not broken,” his brother, David Brooks said. “I see who has turned out tonight, and I appreciate all you. We are going to be back. Thank you, guys.”

(VIDEO: Vigil for Scott Brooks)

“It’s gonna be really hard coming here and not working with him anymore,” Scott Brooks’ niece, Lauren Brooks, said. “He was a good man.”

Friends, family and the NoDa community said their final goodbyes to Brooks at a Matthews church that was filled to capacity.

His funeral was held at Idlewild Baptist Church and a committal service was held at Sunset Memory Gardens in Mint Hill.

Many people at the funeral spoke to Channel 9 about what Brooks meant to them and the community. Brooks’ brother-in-law Jay Bird said he always tried to follow in the Brooks brothers footsteps.

“Scott was the just the greatest person,” Bird said. “He gave me so much guidance. He brought the Lord into my life, taught me how to be a better person, a better man. I tried to follow behind him and his brother in doing what I do for a living.”

Brooks’ Sandwich House has been a family-run business since 1973, according to its website. The Brooks brothers took over the business from their father and now, a third generation of Brooks help run the joint.

Brook’s Sandwich House, popular for its hamburgers and hot dogs, has been a staple in the community for more than 40 years, and people from across the region stopped by Monday to show their support.

"When I pulled up, I saw the streets blocked off and I knew something had to be going on," said Robert Stewart, a customer from Monroe.

Keith Brown grew up playing basketball with the Brooks brothers.

"They knew my whole family and this whole community," he said. "They've been a pillar in this community for years. We'd come up here and their mom and dad, they'd feed everybody hamburgers and hot dogs when they first started the restaurant."

(WATCH BELOW: CMPD update on homicide in NoDa)

CMPD said Brooks was getting the business ready to open when he was shot.

"It appears an employee of the business was just beginning his day and was confronted by some unknown assailant," CMPD Major David Robinson said. "That's a place where you'll see everybody from Charlotte converged there. It's an iconic type of place and a landmark, so, obviously, a big blow to the city."

The crime has been hard for neighbors, customers and even police to take. Several officers were seen becoming emotional as they worked the scene. Many officers are customers and friends with the Brooks brothers.

Family and friends were also seen gathering outside the restaurant.

Customer Bob Eller told Channel 9's crime reporter Mark Becker he has been coming to Brooks' for decades. He said his son called him Monday morning and told him what had happened.

"It's terrible," Eller said. "Good people, no trouble. They were always nice to everybody. I've been coming here over 30 years. It's just a sad situation."

NoDa is a tight-knit community, which is why Brooks' Sandwich House became a staple. Many said the brothers never wanted to change the business or leave the area.

"They never wanted an uptown location," Eller said. "They always wanted to be right here."

"The twins, they knew you by name," customer George Camp said. "They greeted you when you came in. They just made you feel welcome."

In June, David Brooks welcomed our crews inside their restaurant. They were donating more than two acres of land to Habitat for Humanity.

The organization would use the area near WT Harris and East Lane Drive in east Charlotte to build more than a dozen townhomes. The Brooks family said they just wanted to give back to the area.

Detectives are reviewing surveillance video, but it’s dark and from a distance.

The slaying is the city's 104th homicide of 2019.

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

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