Man shoots and kills hotel security guard and then robs him, North Carolina police say

north carolina man steals hotel security guards truck after shooting him to death
Source: Cumberland County Jail, Mega

Jul. 1 2021, Published 2:44 p.m. ET

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A North Carolina hotel security guard was shot and killed while at work and a suspect has been arrested in connection to his death.

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On June 5, Jerry Smothers, 63, was attacked as he worked at the Clarion Hotel in Fayetteville, North Carolina, police said.

According to authorities, a coworker found Smothers around 11 p.m. He was shot in the head and robbed of his wallet and his tan 2001 GMC Sierra.

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Police said his vehicle was recovered on June 8 in the woods near South View High School in Hope Mills, North Carolina, officials said.

While police were recovering the stolen truck, an employee at the school told them they saw a suspicious man in the area around the time the vehicle was found, police said.

The Fayetteville Observer reported police found Dahsir Thomas Welch, 22, near the school wearing a white tank top, black pants and sandals, but Welch was not detained at the time.

In the truck, police said they found a receipt from Dollar General dated June 7 along with a fingerprint belonging to a man who lived in Hope Mills.

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Police interviewed the man, who said Welch picked him up in a truck that matched the description of Smothers’ stolen vehicle.

The same man was shown surveillance video at the Dollar General at the same time listed on the receipt. The man was identified as Welch and in the video, he was wearing a white tank top, black pants and sandals, authorities said and the Observer reported.

On June 9, Fayetteville police were notified that Hope Mills police were looking for a Chevy Silverado that was stolen and surveillance video showed the thief as a man wearing a white shirt, black pants and sandals.

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Investigators said they were interviewing the man who said Welch picked him up when they spotted the stolen Silverado in the parking lot. A search of the Silverado found Welch’s fingerprints inside, police said and the Observer reported.

On June 14, Welch was arrested and charged with larceny, possessing stolen goods and buying/receiving stolen property in connection with the Silverado theft, authorities said.

During his interview, Welch told police he was on Cedar Creek Road at the Sure Stay Hotel on the night Smothers was shot. Welch said he bought Smothers’ stolen truck from a stranger between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to the Observer.

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Police said phone records show Smothers talked to his wife around 9 p.m. on the night he was shot.

More surveillance video was found, which showed Smothers’ truck on Cedar Creek Road around 10 p.m., police said. Welch's phone records showed him traveling along Cedar Creek Road at the same time as the truck, officials said.

Detectives said they interviewed several people who Welch said could be an alibi. One woman said she saw Welch with a handgun and he asked her to help him steal a car, but she refused.

On June 28, Welch was charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail in the Cumberland County Jail.

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