CHARLOTTE — The man accused of killing beloved NoDa restaurant co-owner Scott Brooks was charged Friday in connection with a double homicide, police said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said 33-year-old Terry Connor Jr. has been charged for his role in the murder of Asa Shannon and Siojvon Joseph. Police found the pair dead inside a car on the side of Atando Avenue on Jan. 11.
His new charges include first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy and first-degree burglary.
Connor’s arrest is the third in connection with the double slaying. Steven Staples and Everett Connor are already facing murder charges in the crime. Sources told Channel 9 Terry and Everett are brothers.
Terry Connor was arrested earlier in March for the murder of Brooks and was charged with murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, officers said.
Brooks was gunned down outside Brooks’ Sandwich House in December 2019.
Arrest warrants said Conner stole $100 from Brooks.
In Connor’s first court appearance, he apologized to the Brooks family but said he is innocent.
Only Channel 9 was there shortly after CMPD took Connor from a house on Countryside Drive in the Hidden Valley neighborhood of north Charlotte. We saw investigators collecting evidence and speaking with people in the community.
Eyewitness News spoke with a woman at the home who knew Connor. She said police arrived before dawn with a search warrant.
Authorities have not said what led to the arrest, but did say CMPD officers as well as SWAT, the Violent Criminal Apprehension Team and the FBI were involved.
Brooks was shot to death as he arrived at his family business on North Brevard Street around 5 a.m. on Dec. 9, 2019.
In an effort to find Brooks’ killer, police released grainy surveillance video of two suspects, and a reward was offered for information. Police said it wasn’t a tip that led to Connor’s arrest, but the determination of the lead detective that finally made their case.
“It was the lead detective and the ideas she had and the work she put into it that played the greatest part in this successful arrest,” CMPD Maj. Cam Selvey said.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, police said they worked tirelessly on the case and with only shadowy surveillance pictures to work with, they described it as “good old fashion, nose-to-the-ground police work.”
Police said Connor has a criminal history. He was released from prison in September 2019 after six years for charges relating to a home invasion where he shot two people. Police are looking into whether Connor could be linked to other homicides or violent crimes.
CMPD said while the department is happy to have made an arrest in the case, there is still work to be done. There were two suspects at the scene where Brooks was killed and police are still searching for that second person.
Multiple sources told Channel 9 Terry Connor is related to Everett Connor, who was charged in connection with a murder that happened in late January. Police said Everett Connor killed a man and a woman who were found shot to death inside an SUV.
The SUV was found down an embankment on Atando Drive in north Charlotte.
Shortly after the arrest, the Brooks family said they had been praying for this day and were finally getting some peace of mind.
“I’m not sure if it starts the healing process or not because, you know, nothing is going to bring my brother back,” David Brooks said. “Kudos to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. They were absolutely resilient in what they’ve done and they will not give up. They go far beyond what is called of them and what we are aware of."
David Brooks said he is still trying to process everything, but he never gave up hope that CMPD would make an arrest. He said he eats lunch almost every day with CMPD officers and understands how hard they work.
Brooks family members gathered at NoDa Brewing Company later Wednesday afternoon to share a drink and for the first time in months, David Brooks said he could relax.
“Actually, it’s fun,” the brother said. “I’m starting to have a little bit of fun now, and it’s just wonderful the people around you and my family, supporting me. It’s been absolutely overwhelming.”
Brooks also took time Wednesday to address the other murders that happened last year. he said those that have not been solved will not be forgotten.
“We are in the limelight because we are in this kind of business, but I want everybody to realize that there are also over 100 murders last year that included my brother and that the Charlotte Police Department, they are not on the back burner,” David Brooks said.
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The reward for information that would help police make an arrest in this case increased to $21,000 after the FBI offered an extra $10,000 and other local organizations jumped in with private donations.
In January, CMPD released several images and surveillance clips from the morning of the murder. They show two masked men creeping around the business, and at least one of them was holding a gun.
Brooks’ Sandwich House has been a family-run business since 1973 and has been a staple in
the Charlotte community.
Community members have rallied around the Brooks family since the shooting. Hundreds of visitors stopped by the shop to drop off flowers and light candles to honor the long-time fixture.
“Over the past 47 years, you never know how many friends you really have until something like this happens,” David Brooks said. “The people in the NoDa community is just absolutely, I don’t have words to describe what kind of family they actually are.”
Scott Brooks’ favorite saying -- “Too Bless To Be Stressed” -- has become immortalized across the city and is part of a mural now painted on the side of the sandwich shop.
“It’s so touching, not only to me but the family and the community that we can come together -- even if it’s a tragedy,” David Brooks said. “We can see something positive work out of it.”
The saying also became the name of a beer. Since the Brooks brothers meant so much to the NoDa community, all the local breweries in the community grouped together and made a special beer under the name “Too Blessed to be Stressed.”
As all the breweries sell it, they are raising money for a charity the Brooks family holds dear
-- Habitat for Humanity. Last year, before the tragedy, the Brooks donated land their father purchased years ago to Habitat for Humanity in order to build affordable housing for families.
The family reopened the restaurant on Feb. 1, but they now open at 9 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. in an effort to try and ensure the safety of their employees.
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