Revealed: North Carolina man released from prison six months before six-week killing spree

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CHARLOTTE, NC – A man that police say was involved in a killing spree that spanned six weeks from late December of 2019 to January of 2020 was reportedly released from prison six months prior to the killings

Authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina recently charged 31-year-old Steven Staples with the December 2019 fatal shooting of Brooks’ Sandwich House co-owner Scott Brooks. 

Staples was already in police custody under other charges when the charges of murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon were handed down. 

With this latest murder charge having been attributed to Staples, Lt. Crum from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says this brings a total of five murders that Staples allegedly committed: 

“This case is really troubling to all of us. Over a about a one and a half month period, [Staples] was involved in a tremendous amount of violent crime, and it really just seems senseless.”

According to authorities, Staples fatally shot Brooks on December 9th of 2019.

From there, police say that Staples murdered Anthony Leaks on December 23rd, Asa Shannon and Siojvon Joseph on January 11th and Andres Moscotte on January 23rd. 

Lt. Crum says that the entire string of murders allegedly committed by Staples have genuinely left investigators perplexed as to what could’ve possibly inspired these violent acts: 

“Every single one of us in the homicide unit really just scratched our heads trying to understand what could lead to these senseless crimes, just such a horrible spat of violence in such a short period of time.”

With police having finally honed in on the second suspect allegedly related to the killing of Brooks – nearly a year after the slaying – Brooks’ twin brother David is thankful for the “closure”:

“I’m so thankful for the community. A little bit of closure is going to come to the family and to the community.”

The first person to have been charged in the murder of Brooks was 33-year-old Terry Conner Jr., who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the killing back in March of 2020. 

Conner was also charged for allegedly playing a role in the murders of Asa Shannon and Siojvon Joseph. 

Records revealed that Staples had just gotten out of prison six months prior to the numerous murders, after he was convicted of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon from a 2008 incident that culminated in a dangerous police chase. 

Staples had reportedly served 12 years, six months, and 25 days for said conviction. 

Staples also carried numerous prior convictions from 2006 and 2007 related to felony breaking and entering, larceny, possession of a stolen vehicle. 

If the state lands a conviction of second-degree murder for the numerous charges Staples is facing, he could serve life in prison. However, a first-degree murder conviction is achieved in any of the cases, Staples could face the death penalty. 

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In an update to a previous report we shared on Law Enforcement Today regarding a shootout between two vehicles on November 13th in Independence, Missouri, authorities have apprehended three out of the four suspects wanted in the case. 

At the time, police were searching for 23-year-old Hope L. Williams and 28-year-old Ronald R. Wessley and also two then-unidentified black males noted as Subject #3 and Subject #4. 

Authorities also located the vehicle wanted in connection with the shooting. 

Reportedly, Subject #4 is still at-large. 

Here’s the previous report noting the background on the incident. 

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INDEPENDENCE, MO – A shootout between two vehicles in a restaurant parking lot on November 13th is said to have resulted in a 9-year old girl being hurt

Preliminary reports indicate that the young victim was inside one of the vehicles when gunfire broke out. 

According to reports from the Independence Police Department, units responded to calls about shots being fired at roughly 8:00 p.m. on November 13th. 

From what local business owner Greg Hunsucker says, this shootout transpired right in the parking lot of his restaurant, V’s Italiano Ristorante. 

Processing the incident, Hunsucker stated the following: 

“I was actually back in the kitchen and didn’t even know that it happened.”

While Hunsucker wasn’t a direct witness, the parking lot security cameras captured some of the chaos that ensued. Around the time of the shooting, Hunsucker had a relatively packed restaurant with over 100 patrons. 

The restaurant owner said that it was his customers who had first caught wind of what was happening outside: 

“A couple of our customers heard some shots and we had one couple that had just left and they were walking right across here to the other side of that SUV. They heard ‘boom boom boom,’ and they jumped down and got behind the cars over there.”

Two vehicles, a sedan and an SUV, were racing through the parking lot, exchanging gunfire. 

Looking back on the incident, Hunsucker is both appreciative and amazed that none of the restaurant patrons or employees were harmed: 

“My own son was here and was getting ready to leave and my wife said ‘go over and say hi to another customer.’ They did otherwise they would have been walking out right when it was happening.”

While some vehicles were damaged during the incident, Hunsucker is much more concerned about the little girl that was wounded: 

“Again the innocent ones catch it all and she had nothing to do with it but here she is the one that’s injured it’s just a sad sad thing.”

The girl’s condition is unknown at this time. 

Police have since made three arrests in the case, but an unidentified male subject is still at-large as of November 19th. 

Anyone with any information about this case or the whereabouts of these subjects is asked to call the Tips Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS, IPD tips at (816) 325-7777 or email [email protected]

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