Deputies are continuing to search for three robbers who killed the owner of a small gaming venue in North Carolina during a struggle following a robbery last week. The local sheriff warned that the suspects are “armed and dangerous.”
On Wednesday, Ibrahim Mohamed-Ali Al-Wajih, 31, identified as the owner and operator of the Skill Game Room located in Wagram, was fatally shot during the holdup, WBTW, a local TV station, reported.
This was horrible. A horrible crime that did not need to happen,” Capt. Randy Dover of the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigation Unit told WBTW. “To just kill him over some money is senseless.”
When deputies arrived, they saw the victim lying on the floor. He was unresponsive. An ambulance crew soon arrived and Al-Wajih was pronounced dead at the crime site.
Based on video taken at the venue, one of the suspects lured Al-Wajih to a gaming machine. A second suspect then pulled out a firearm. The third bandit then scooped money from the cash register.
Victim Struggled with Robbers
A struggle took place and Al-Wajih was wounded, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies did not say how much money was stolen from the gaming venue.
It is likely that a local medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm the cause and manner of death. Deputies also searched the casino for evidence.
Players who were at the casino during the robbery also gave statements to deputies. They detailed what they witnessed.
Deputies released photos of the three suspects. The suspects may have fled the crime scene in a dark gray or black truck, deputies said. Deputies also are looking for any video taken by surveillance cameras belonging to nearby businesses, WBTW said.
Businesses Warned to Remain Wary
The sheriff’s office urged other businesses in the region to be on the watch for thefts or holdups.
I’d advise all these other places to be very wary because they are going to hit again,” Dover told the TV station. “This was planned. Completely planned. We’ve had people telling us that they think these same guys have been in their casinos scouting the place out.”
Wagram is about 32 miles southwest of Fort Bragg. It is a small town with assorted businesses. The population is believed to be fewer than 1,000 residents.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at 910-276-3385. Witnesses or those with details can also contact Scotland Crimestoppers at 910-266-8146.
Funeral arrangements were being handled by Purcell Funeral Home. Arrangements have yet to be announced.
Limited Gaming in North Carolina
North Carolina does not have any commercial casinos. Nor does it currently permit sports betting beyond at the state’s tribal casinos. But the state may soon allow gambling on athletic events statewide.
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