Arrest made after woman shot dead outside Kannapolis convenience store

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Police have arrested a man who they said fatally shot a woman at a Kannapolis convenience store Sunday afternoon.

Officers responded around 1 p.m. to the scene at a store near the intersection of Lane Street and Wright Avenue. Police said they believe it was a drive-by shooting.

Officials confirmed that 24-year-old Lena Morgan died at the scene.

“She was my life. She was my everything. She was the most beautiful person in the world,” a close friend of Morgan’s told Channel 9. “All I know is this shouldn’t have happened the way it happened.”

Police said they were searching for a dark-colored vehicle that drove away from the scene. On Monday, police announced they had arrested 22-year-old Nolan Graves. He has been charged with first-degree murder and is currently in the Cabarrus County Jail.

Neighbors told Channel 9 that they noticed a vehicle slowly moving down the street and seconds later, the sound of a gunshot was captured on a security camera system.

“No one deserves to be shot dead like that. Everyone deserves a second chance, I don’t care who you are,” neighbor Chase Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson was working on his front door lock at the time, and saw the whole thing. He said he was stunned.

“A woman was sitting on the curb outside the blue gas station, and he turned in there and shot her in the chest and she fell over,” he told Channel 9. “I said, ‘Wow,’ and I automatically called 911.”

Darlene Rich said she went to the store to buy some cigarettes and happened to arrive before police got there. She said she used to be an EMT and desperately tried to help Morgan, but there was nothing she could do.

“She was unresponsive. I tried to cover the bullet hole with plastic so she could try and breath a little bit but she wouldn’t respond back to me,” Rich said.

Authorities have not released any other details on the homicide investigation, only saying that it was not random.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Kannapolis Police Department at 704-920-4000.

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