UPDATE: Hamlet police searching for murder suspect

By: By William R. Toler - wtoler@civitasmedia.com

HAMLET — Police are investigating a murder at the Circle B convenience store on N.C. 177.

Tierrell Martin, 20, of Dobbins Heights, was fatally shot around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday in the store’s parking lot, according to Detective Capt. Randy Dover. He said seven shots were fired, but Martin was only struck once and died at the scene.

Chief Scott Waters said investigators have been working through the night to try and locate a suspect.

Investigators had initially charged one man in the fatal shooting, but video evidence proved he was not the perpetrator and he has since been released from custody, Waters said.

As of 2:15, police had not yet identified a suspect.

Martin’s body was taken to Chapel Hill for an autopsy and investigators are hoping to learn more.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is assisting in the investigation.

On Wednesday morning, neighbors gathered at the Circle B to share rumors and information about the shooting. Near the gas pumps where Martin was shot, someone had poked a smiley-face balloon and bouquet of artificial flowers into a Pepsi sign.

“I heard (the shooting) way down the street,” said Douglas McDonald of Hamlet, who was in his backyard playing spades at the time. “That’s all I could hear was bow, bow, bow, bow, bow.”

He pointed to a rusty blood stain running down the parking lot and into the street.

“That’s going to be a memorial,” McDonald said. “Can’t wash that away.”

Investigators ask that anyone with information pertaining to the case contact the Hamlet Police Department at 910-582-2551 or Richmond County Crime Stoppers at 910-997-5454.

Check back for more on this developing story.

Christine Carroll contributed to this story.


By William R. Toler