FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — An “armed career criminal” was sentenced last week to 45 years in prison for wounding a Fayetteville pawn shop owner in a shootout in 2019, officials said.
Mario Dante Whitted, 28, was waiting to rob the Bragg Pawn Shop in Fayetteville in late November 2019, according to a news release from the Fayetteville Police Department.
The pawn shop owner had just locked up for the night at 5034 Yadkin Road.
“He exited the business and was locking the door when he heard a noise that drew his attention to the fence line of his business. He went to investigate and suddenly noticed a male subject running towards him from a nearby wood line,” the news release said.
The victim was shot twice but managed to draw his personal weapon and fire back at the suspect, police said.
The suspect then fled into the woodline behind the business and the victim hid inside the business.
Whitted fled the scene and flagged down a Good Samaritan who offered to take him to a local emergency room. Instead, the suspect insisted that he be taken home.
Whitted hid out until he was nabbed in Florence, South Carolina, police said. His arrest in Florence came after having a bullet extracted from his foot which ballistics examiners matched to the victim’s gun.
DNA evidence also linked Whitted to the scene after he bled in the Good Samaritan’s car.
Whitted was charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and possession of firearm by felon.
In April of this year, Whitted was convicted of felon in possession of ammunition and deemed an armed career criminal.
Whitted has three prior state convictions for common law robbery. He was facing 15 years to life in prison as he awaited his sentencing.
On Wednesday, Whitted was sentenced to 45 years in prison.