A man wounded in a predawn shooting in downtown Raleigh in August was the intended target because of a dispute over a nightclub stripper, not the man who died, police say in newly released search warrants.
Police have charged Bryce Jocarroll Williams, 26, with murdering Ramon Antonio Shaw, 23, on Aug. 20 in the 300 block of West South Street, near the Red Hat Amphitheater and the Downtown District police station.
As laid out in requests for four search warrants, Joshua Jamar Vines, 30, was the shooting target, not Shaw, because Vines had a relationship with a Club Rumors stripper who had been Williams' girlfriend and there was animosity between the two men.
Police were told the stripper's boyfriend was a man known as "Blaze," and they later determined that was Williams, Detective S.B. Snowden wrote.
Surveillance photos from the area around the club that morning show that a silver or gray car had waited near the club for an hour until Vines, who lives in Knightdale, and some other people came out and drove away, Snowden said.
The waiting car left, too.
In the next block, Vines saw Shaw, stopped and got out of the car to talk with him, the police account said.
A volley of shots rang out, and witnesses told police that a silver or gray vehicle left the area right after that.
Shaw was dead in the street when police got to a call about a shooting near Club Rumors about 4:45 a.m., they said at the time.
Vines had been dropped off at WakeMed Raleigh hospital with a gunshot wound in his abdomen while police were at the shooting scene, and detectives later connected him to the attack that killed Shaw.
Officers from the Raleigh Police Fugitive Unit tracked Williams to Greensboro and arrested him Oct. 8.
Detectives also located a 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton that Williams told them he drove and that resembled the car they had seen in the surveillance pictures and that witnesses reported driving away, Snowden told a magistrate.
The first search warrant had been issued Aug. 26 and allowed police to examine Vines' cell phone.
Vines, Snowden wrote, had helped police initially, "but after evidence of Mr. Vines' involvement concerning dealing in heroin and cocaine surfaced, it appears his cooperation is limited."
The phone, they hoped, would give them leads.
Police arrested Vines on Sept. 1, charging him with heroin trafficking, heroin possession and conspiracy to traffic in the drug.
On Oct. 16, a warrant let police search a house at 610 E. Martin St., where they said Williams insisted he lived despite being arrested in Greensboro. The warrant says they found six bullets and some paperwork that they seized.
On Oct. 27, Snowden asked permission to search the Volkswagen, and the returned warrant says detectives took a computer thumb drive and paperwork they found in a locked briefcase in it.
The final warrant, issued Nov. 5, allowed police to collect a DNA sample from Williams.
Crime-scene investigators had processed evidence from the shooting scene, including spent shell casings, for DNA, Snowden said.
Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Friday that police still believe there may be a drug aspect to the murder case, and the investigation is still active.
Detectives also hope that anyone who has information about the case and has not spoken with them will call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP (4357) or visit www.raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and e-mail reporting options.
CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for tips that help solves cases.