WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Less than an hour after Robert Granato was charged with capital offense without bond, members of the NAACP held a presser at the Winston-Salem Headquarters.
The NAACP called out local investigators, including Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson, saying the fact that racial slurs were interchanged between the suspect and the victim should make it clear that this was a racially motivated crime.
Investigators, however, previously noted the shooting was random and findings didn't indicate the shooting was in fact racially motivated.
Alluding to recent events in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in his closing remarks, the Winston-Salem NAACP chapter president, Alvin E. Carlisle, plead, "this nonsensical gun violence must cease."
Granato is the 22-year-old accused of shooting 32-year-old Julius Sampson Jr. outside BJ's Restaurant and Brew House on Tuesday.
Kadeam James, a friend of Sampson's, told WFMY News 2 said he and Sampson stepped in to defend the bartenders at the restaurant when a couple of customers were upset after getting cut off from alcoholic beverages.
Winston-Salem Police say that’s when Granato pulled out a gun and shot Sampson.
Granato's first appearance in court was this morning, where a Forsyth County judge charged him with capital offense without bond this morning. Granato chose to be represented by a public defender.