Suspect, victim together before Rolesville fatal shooting, police say

James Michael Aaron is accused of murder in the death of Wesley Collin Carpenter on May 1, 2016.
James Michael Aaron is accused of murder in the death of Wesley Collin Carpenter on May 1, 2016.

James Michael “Mike” Aaron was still on the phone with an emergency dispatcher early Sunday, reporting that he had just shot an intruder who was trying to get into his home.

Aaron, 29, was still holding a handgun when he went outside to greet the officers on the porch of his wood-frame house and complied with officers’ orders to drop his weapon.

Officers put handcuffs on Aaron and eventually doubted his story that the shooting victim, Wesley Collin Carpenter, was an intruder. They later found that the two men had been together most of the day drinking “a large amount of alcohol” and even broke apart a wooden pallet “to create a bonfire,” according to a search warrant application made public Tuesday.

“There is no evidence of forced entry into the residence,” police said about Aaron’s home in a statement this week.

Officers found Carpenter, 27, in a hallway near the living room of Aaron’s home. He had been shot three times in the abdomen, according to the search warrant, and later died at WakeMed.

Investigators charged Aaron with murder.

Police became suspicious of Aaron’s account of the shooting when Wesley Carpenter’s wife, Sophia Media Carpenter, who was at the home, yelled from an upstairs window that her husband had been shot, according to the search warrant.

Carpenter was conscious, but unresponsive.

Sophia Carpenter and the couple’s small child who was with them were both unharmed, police reported.

Police think Aaron and Carpenter had been together earlier about 4 miles away at Carpenter’s rented townhouse at 1218 Colonial Club Road in Wake Forest. The men drank heavily while at Carpenter’s home. Investigators also determined that “Aaron may have been taking [a] prescription medication that should not be mixed with alcohol,” according to the search warrant.

During a search of Carpenter’s home, police recovered white drinking cups, malt beverage jars, beer cans, cigarette butts and fingerprints. They searched Aaron’s home and recovered cellphones, a pill bottle, a Savage Arms shotgun and six shell casings. Police also obtained blood from Aaron to compare with evidence found at the scene, according to the search warrants.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @tmcdona75589225