Investigators in Union County arrested two Marshville men after a deadly shooting near Wingate University.
Officers said Juan Carlos Garcia, Yader Sandoval, and Eleonel Garcia, who investigators say are all cousins, were shot. Juan Garcia and Yader Sandoval were pronounced deceased Wednesday night.
According to a press release, the suspects were arrested at about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday night. They were located together in a unit at the Willow Oaks Apartments off Walkup Avenue in Monroe. Officials say the men were arrested without incident after they exited the apartment from a back door.
Daniel Steven Sheerer and Tony Antwone Knotts are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count each robbery with a dangerous weapon, and one count each of attempted murder. According to a press release, the men subsequently confessed to breaking into several homes in the Union County area.
Both men are being held without bond in the Union County Jail.
Wingate University was on lockdown during the investigation. Union County law enforcement officials gave the “all clear” at Wingate at about 8:45 p.m., nearly two and a half hours after the lockdown was put into place.
Officials were working two crime scenes, one along E. Wilson Street, near the entrance to the College Park community, and another about two blocks away on Zeb Goodman Road. East Wilson Street runs along Wingate’s campus.
Wingate Police Chief Donnie Gay said it started when a Union County Sheriff’s Deputy was flagged down on E. Wilson because of a vehicle stopped in the road near Burris Street.
The deputy found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The man had collapsed off the roadway near the car. He was later pronounced dead.
A short time later, a driver who had been diverted on Zeb Goodman Road reported two other men lying near the entrance to Wingate University Lake.
Officers responded to the scene, where one of the men was pronounced dead and the other, later identified as Eleonel Garcia, was airlifted to the hospital. Officials said both men had been shot.
Hospital officials from Carolinas Medical Center-Union asked for additional law enforcement officers from the area after a shooting victim was brought to the hospital for treatment.
A spokesman for Carolinas Medical Center told WBTV this was done as a precautionary measure due to the shooting happening near campus, not due to an incident at the hospital. This is common practice with these types of incidents.
That victim was moved to Carolinas Medical Center-Main for additional treatment. As of Thursday afternoon, officials said they were in fair condition.
Juan Carlos Garcia, 19, and Yader Alberto Sandoval Garcia, both from Monroe, died presumably from gunshot wounds. The surviving victim, Eleonel Castrejon Garcia, 17, is in fair condition at Carolinas Medical Center-Main. The men were cousins. No other information was released about their relationship to the men charged.
At about 5:45 p.m., a passing Union County Sheriff’s deputy was flagged down by a motorist who drove by earlier and saw a car stopped in the middle of East Wilson Street, Gay said. The passer-by spotted saw a man lying on the ground next to the stopped car and assumed the person was ill.
The deputy found that the man had been shot. Emergency personnel was dispatched and began CPR when they reached the scene. The man later died.
Meanwhile, a driver diverted from Wilson Street spotted two more victims in an open area on Zeb Goodman Road, about two blocks away from the first scene. There, authorities found one man dead and the other injured but still alive.