Police link shooting victim to robbery attempt at condo

Staff WritersJanuary 8, 2006 

The man who was shot to death in a North Raleigh condominium Friday night was actually one of several would-be robbers who planned to hold up one of the condo's residents, police said Saturday.

Jerome Anthony McAllister, 29, of 1105-111 Cove Bridge Road in Raleigh, was shot multiple times about 10:30 p.m. Friday and died a short time later. No one has been arrested in McAllister's death.

McAllister was familiar to Raleigh police. In 1994, as a 17-year-old, he was convicted of shooting at two police officers, wounding one of them.

In connection with Friday's incident, Brian James Bronson, 25, told investigators that he was approached by two strangers as he walked toward his front door at 4660 Grinding Stone Drive, according to Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue. The condo is located off Millbrook Road near Green Road Park.

The men forced Bronson inside the residence where at least one other would-be robber was waiting, Sughrue said. Once inside, Bronson said, he dropped to the floor and gunfire erupted. Firefighters found an injured McAllister after responding to a smoke alarm going off in the end unit at Walden Woods Condominiums, police say.

McAllister "was found dressed in a manner consistent with someone committing a burglary or robbery," Sughrue said in a statement.

McAllister had spent the majority of his adult life in prison after being convicted of shooting at the police officers in 1994 and possessing a firearm as a felon in 2005. He had been released from federal prison in September.

On May 3, 1994, Officers Dale T. Montague and Welton Barnes were parked in an unmarked car near Garner and Sawyer roads. They watched McAllister conduct a series of drug deals. When the officers, who were out of uniform, approached McAllister, the teenager fired two shots at them and then ran from the scene. Montague was shot in the left hand and forearm.

Before sentencing, McAllister said he shot at the officers because he thought they were robbers and did not realize they were law enforcement. Police, however, said the officers identified themselves and turned their baseball caps around displaying police markings as they approached McAllister.

A jury convicted McAllister of assaulting both officers and conspiring to sell cocaine. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. It was unclear Saturday when McAllister was released.

But in June 2003, McAllister was charged with illegally possessing a gun. Federal authorities decided to prosecute him in October 2003. He was sentenced in February 2005 to 15 months in prison followed by three years of probation. He was given credit for the time he spent in jail awaiting trial, which likely explains why he was released after only seven months in federal prison.

For a time Saturday morning, Raleigh police believed that the killer had taken McAllister's truck. After police asked the State Highway Patrol for help, a highway patrol dispatcher said that an unknown suspect may be behind the wheel of the truck. The Raleigh police called off the search a short time later because they found the pickup truck, Sughrue said.

Staff writer Andrea Weigl can be reached at 829-4848 or aweigl@newsobserver.com.

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