2nd person arrested in murder of Roanoke Rapids pizza driver

Local News

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (WNCN) — A second man has been arrested in the death of James Lee, 21, who was robbed and then fatally shot late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.

Nashown Laquan Alston, 26, of Roanoke Rapids is charged with murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Cortez Powell, 18, of Roanoke Rapids, was arrested Wednesday evening, the sheriff’s office said.

Lee was a Dominos pizza delivery driver in Roanoke Rapids.

Sheriff Wes Tripp said Lee was delivering pizzas for his job when his manager realized they hadn’t heard from him in about an hour. 

The manager went to where Lee was last sent — Branch Avenue in Roanoke Rapids — and found Lee shot to death in his car around 1 a.m.

“He was in the area to deliver pizza, and when deputies arrived, there was no pizza and no money bag,” said Tripp. 

Authorities believe it was a robbery. 

“It felt like someone pulled my heart out of my chest,” said Lee’s sister, Michelle Caputo. 

CBS 17 found out in the past three months, three other pizza delivery drivers have been robbed in the same area. 

“We have reason to believe at this point they could be related and connected,” Tripp said. 

Lee moved to Weldon about a year ago and was a correctional officer in Virginia. His family said he recently lost that job and started working at Domino’s only a week ago. 

“He worked hard. He cared about everybody. He did extra for strangers,” said Caputo. 

The Maryland-native loved video games, dirt bikes, and helping others. 

“It’s just such a tragedy to happen in our community,” Tripp said. “This guy was 21 years old,  had a job, and was doing that job, and was killed. It’s very sad.”

Domino’s released the following statement: 

“We are heartbroken to hear this news and our thoughts are with Mr. Lee’s family friends at this time. Our local franchisee and the store team are working closely with the authorities on this very active investigation. This location is closed today in light of this tragic loss.”

On Aug. 1, the Domino’s on 200 E. 10th St. in Roanoke Rapids will give 50% of all sales to the Lee family to help them following his death.

A GoFundMe has been created for Lee’s funeral expenses.

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