Shooting victim dies, suspect in custody
The 15-year-old West Lee Middle School student known as Junior to his friends and family succumbed to his injuries Wednesday after being shot multiple times near his home. A suspect in the crime has been apprehended.
Thomas “Junior” Dolby Jr., of the 900 block of Lansing Street, was shot in the face and shoulders Monday night in the 500 block of Pineland Street, according to Sanford Police Capt. Harold Layton. Dolby was taken to Central Carolina Hospital, and later flown to UNC Hospital at Chapel Hill, according to authorities. He died there Wednesday night.
After days of searching, authorities arrested Pierre Alexander Amerson, 21, of the 2500 block of Bella Bridge Road, Broadway, Thursday afternoon in a Fayetteville-area motel. He was taken into custody without incident and with the assistance of the Fayetteville Police Department, Layton said. Amerson was charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
“The officers did a great job finding him,” Layton said.
Junior’s mother, Robin Dolby, said he was coming home from the drug store Monday night when he was shot.
“What was the reason for killing my son? I want to know,” she said.
Junior was a homebody, she said, and that he was never in trouble. Junior’s cousin, Tenaejah, said she loved him and hoped he’d rest in peace.
“He was a wonderful person,” she said. “He loved everybody and never disrespected anyone. And for everybody who was praying for him, please keep praying for us.”
Several other family members and friends said they wanted to know why Junior was killed and to say they loved him.
“I’ll miss you Junior,” said his aunt, Louanna McDougald. “I miss you so much, and you'll be in my prayers.”
West Lee Middle School Principal Melvin Marshall said words couldn't describe the loss felt by the students, teachers and administrators at West Lee.
“He was a good young man,” Marshall said. “This is something we are still finding a way to grapple with. The one thing about Junior was the smile on his face. He had so many friends at West Lee, and he was just one of those young men you could look at and see that smile on his face. That was Junior."
Friends and strangers alike took to social media to express their condolences, relive memories of Junior and ask for prayers for his family.
“Such a great kid and to be taken away too soon in life,” wrote Heather Hatt. “… My daughter was friends with this boy, and it breaks my heart to see her in tears and to know that her pain is nothing compared to his family's.”
Amerson was convicted less than two months ago for felony robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury, in connection with a May 2013 armed robbery of Union Tire Service and the shooting of its employee, according to the North Carolina Department of Corrections public offender database. Amerson received 36 months of probation.
He was also convicted of misdemeanor wanton injury to personal property in 2013, misdemeanor breaking and entering in 2012 and misdemeanor damage to property, misdemeanor larceny and misdemeanor communicating threats in 2010, according to the database.