Littleton Tobacco and Laundry

Littleton Tobacco and Laundry in Littleton was the scene of an armed robbery on Saturday, which led to a fatality.

A fatal shooting happened at Littleton Tobacco and Laundry, 106 Mosby Ave., Saturday night.

Town of Littleton Police Chief Philip Trivette said the shooter causing the fatality was one of the store owners, but he would not reveal his name.

“One of the suspects died on the scene due to a gunshot wound from one of the owners,” Trivette said. “The other suspect fled.”

At about 7:54 p.m., two men completely covered, wearing masks and dark clothing, entered the store and one of them brandished a gun at one of the owners, he said.

Trivette said he cannot say for sure what kind of gun it was.

“Within 10 seconds of them being in the store, the shots broke out and the whole thing lasted about 30 seconds,” he said. “The owner had wounds, he was shot three times — all non-life threatening.”

Trivette said the co-owner was transported by ambulance from the scene to Vidant North Hospital in Roanoke Rapids.

“He was out of the hospital the night it happened,” Trivette said.

They found the suspect dead on the scene, Trivette said. The release of his name is awaiting the coroner’s report.

“He was shot in the upper body more than once,” he said.

Trivette said it was a pretty dire situation.

“One of the owner’s 10-year-old son was behind the counter when it was happening,” he said. “He was not shot.”

Trivette said he will release more details, including the name of the owner involved, after the District Attorney gives an opinion on the report. This type of crime is not normal for the town, he said.

“This is an isolated incident,” Trivette said. “Other businesses should not be so concerned.”

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation. Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 252-583-4444.

An ongoing discussion of the town’s officials resulted in a public hearing during the Town of Littleton’s Jan. 11 Board of Commissioners meeting. The hearing was for a revision to zoning ordinance 21-001, to prohibit video poker, sweepstakes and similar electronic gaming operations that simulate gambling and other games of chance, effective immediately. If approved, the ordinance does two things.

• Removes the authorization of commercial amusements

• Confirms the enforcement would begin 10 calendar days after adoption

Before the hearing, Littleton attorney Kris Gardner reminded folks that early last year the board had sent out notices of the board’s intent to phase out the gaming machines and inviting the operators of Littleton Tobacco and Laundry and Minit-Check, who operate gaming machines in town, to submit a time they thought was reasonable to recoup some income from the loss of the machines.

During the board of commissioners meeting on Feb. 25, Gardner was in attendance and said it is proper to allow the operators some period of time to recoup whatever they have invested. He had explained this was a continuation of the Jan. 28 [2020] meeting, when he said, “Instead of the town just picking a period of time, a year, six months, a month, it is better to speak with the people who could be affected by it, to see what financial impact it may have on them, so this is your opportunity to address the board.”

“I don’t recall seeing finance information about the amortization,” Gardner said during Monday’s meeting.

During the Dec. 15 meeting, the board decided to go forward with an amendment to a zoning ordinance to prohibit video poker sweepstakes and similar electronic gaming operations that simulate gambling and other games of chance, effective immediately.

If passed, it will allow the town to go after gaming machines by banning them from town altogether, Chief Philip Trivette said on Dec. 17.

“This ordinance gives me a lot more to work with and I think the town can finally be rid of the machines,” he said then.

The two people who spoke during the hearing on Jan. 11 were Jonathan W. Trapp, attorney for one of Littleton Tobacco and Laundry owners Dhwanendra Patel, and Keith Anthony, representing the owner of Minit-Check, Ali Abdo Saleh.

Anthony said the town does not have the authority to adopt this regulation, its authority comes from the state through the General Assembly, and even if it did, the short amortization period is unreasonable.

“For both those reasons, the town would be best served in not passing this ordinance,” Anthony said.

Trapp said his client purchased the convenience store with the reliance of using the gaming machines to attract customers, and the ability to do so was written in their lease. Without the machines they would lose tens of thousands of dollars, he said.

“If the board agrees to amortize, the time and the loss needs to be addressed,” Trapp said.

Gardner again said the town requested the financial information about a year ago and again in December.

“The town would really appreciate having as much information as possible,” he said. “The sooner you get that to us would be appreciated.”

After the hearing, Mayor K. Owen Scott said the item was tabled and would be discussed later in closed session.

Also on Saturday at about 11:50 p.m., Halifax County Deputies responded to the 2000 block of Everett’s School Road regarding a burglary, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.

After arriving, deputies found a 93-year-old female who had been assaulted. She reported her grandson had been shot during the burglary. Deputies located Tyquan Shaquell Moody, 26, of Roanoke Rapids, deceased in another room from an apparent gunshot wound.

The 93-year-old-victim was taken to Vidant North Hospital for head trauma.

Chief Deputy Scott Hall said, “We are continuing to investigate and following up on leads. The grandmother is in stable condition.”

The motive of the burglary appears to be a robbery attempt, he said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the HCSO at 252-583-8201 or Halifax County Crime Stoppers at 252-583-4444 or use the Crime Stoppers app.