Demario Atwater's brother dies in shooting

Staff WritersNovember 9, 2008 

— The male victim found dead at the scene of a Saturday night shooting at a Durham apartment complex that left two dead is the younger brother of Demario Atwater, 22, one of two men charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of UNC-Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson.

Shelton Henderson, Jr., 19, was found dead outside the apartment complex at 906 Glendale Ave., where the shooting took place shortly before 11:30 p.m., police said.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran and Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall said Henderson was Atwater's younger brother, but that the teen's death will have little impact on the murder case against Atwater and his alleged accomplice, Laurence Lovette, 17.

A second teen, Nathan Elmoore, 17, died of gunshot wounds after being transported to Duke Hospital in critical condition, police said. Christopher Hunter, 16, and James Downey, 21, were treated at Duke hospital with non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

Police arrested two males today in connection with the shooting, but neither suspect has been charged with homicide in the ongoing investigation.

Deamonte Tavaris Brooks, 18, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and two counts of inflicting serious injury for the shooting of two surviving victims who had non-life threatening injuries, police said. Dylan Shaqaun Turner, 17, has been charged with possession of a firearm by a minor.

The four victims were attending a party at the apartment complex when the shooting took place, said a college student and community volunteer who knows Atwater and his slain brother.

April Swift of Goldsboro, a student at N.C. Central University who says she does volunteer anti-gang and teen pregnancy work, said Henderson, who she knew only as J.J., was staying with friends outside the city when he decided to go the party. Swift said Atwater's younger brother was not the intended target of the shooter, who was gunning for one of the friends he accompanied to the party.

"He was really trying to stay out of trouble," Swift said. "He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's a real tragedy. He just chose to go out with friends and got killed."

Henderson spent a night in the Durham County jail in August on a drug-dealing charge, a jail spokesperson said. Court records indicate the felony charge was still pending at the time of his death and that Henderson twice failed to appear in court for hearings.

Durham Police Lt. Robert McLaughlin, watch commander, said he did not know if one of the dead from Saturday night's shooting was Atwater's brother. McLaughlin said police were still investigating the shooting.

Demario Atwater is facing a host of state and federal charges in Carson's alleged kidnapping, robbery and murder. Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall has already announced his intention to pursue the death penalty against Atwater, and the U.S. Attorney General is mulling whether to mount a federal capital case.

Carson was found shot to death just after 5 a.m. on March 5 in a wooded neighborhood near the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Security photos taken around the times when someone used Carson's ATM card at a bank and a convenience store, along with confidential sources, led police to Atwater and Laurence Lovette, 17, who is also charged in the January shooting death of Abhijit Mahato, a Duke University engineering student.

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