HAMLET — Richmond County Crime Stoppers has doubled to $1,000 the reward for information leading to an arrest in a fatal shooting last June.
Tierrell Martin, 20, was gunned down outside the Circle B convenience store in Hamlet around 12:15 a.m. June 28.
Investigators with the Hamlet Police Department say seven shots were fired but only one struck Martin, who died at the scene.
A suspect had initially been charged in the fatal shooting, but video evidence proved he was not the perpetrator and he was released from custody later that morning.
Martin had just been released from jail on June 19 after serving nearly two weeks on a June 8 conviction of possession of stolen goods, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction. Richmond County Jail records show he had been behind bars since Oct. 17, 2016 and that he was served warrants four times while in jail.
The same day he was convicted, several other charges — possession of a firearm by a felon, felony conspiracy and robbery with a dangerous weapon — were dismissed by the district attorney’s office, court records show.
Detective Capt. Randy Dover said Wednesday that the investigation has all but stalled.
“We’re getting leads every now and then,” he said, but “people have stopped talking to us.”
Dover said the shooting was “definitely gang related” and witnesses or anyone else who may have information on the case won’t talk because “they’re scared” of retaliation.
He hopes the increase in the cash offer will entice someone to come forward.
Meeting this week, the Crime Stoppers board also voted to offer a reward for information on the Jan. 5 blaze that destroyed a stained-glass window and led to extensive damage to the sanctuary of the century-old church First United Methodist Church.
The amount of that reward would depend on the information shared, Hamlet Police Chief Scott Waters said Wednesday.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting the Hamlet Police Department, told the Daily Journal that the fire had been intentionally set.
Before learning that the church has central heating and air, firefighters had theorized that an errant spark from a floorboard heater could have caused the blaze. And Hamlet Fire Chief Calvin White said that no one was inside when the fire broke out.
Dover said Wednesday that investigators are still following leads and that the SBI report has not yet been completed.
Anyone with information on either case is encouraged to call the Hamlet Police Department at 910-582-2551 or Richmond County Crime Stoppers at 910-997-5454.