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Man arrested in Convention Center shooting


The Daily Reflector

Friday, September 7, 2018

Police on Friday arrested a Burlington man suspected in a shooting early Sunday outside the Greenville Convention Center and charged him with attempted murder.

Jalen Okeith Watlington, 22, was located and arrested in Norfolk, Virginia, Friday afternoon, the Greenville Police Department reported. He’s been charged with attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Investigators were able to identify Watlington through tips from the public, the department said. His arrest was a joint effort among members of the Greenville Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, NC SBI Fugitive Task Force, FBI, Burlington Police Department, Norfolk Police Department and Greensboro Police Department.

Watlington will be booked into the Norfolk City Jail and is expected to be extradited back to Pitt County in the coming weeks, a department news release said.

The incident happened at 2:05 a.m. Sunday in a convention center parking lot. When officers arrived, they were informed that Grant Issac Stafford, 23, of Liberty Drive in Greenville, was injured and taken to Vidant Medical Center in a private vehicle.

A preliminary investigation indicates the shooting likely stemmed from an earlier altercation between the victim and another man at an event inside the facility, the release said.

Witnesses reported the man later confronted the Stafford in a parking lot, at which point shots were fired. Stafford is expected to recover from his injuries, police reported. 

Hotels in the convention center campus were packed with visitors in town for the football game between East Carolina and N.C. A&T State and for a number of Labor Day holiday reunions. A high school reunion and a concert also were scheduled at the convention center.


The police department released reports Thursday with the following details and allegations:

Break-ins, thefts

■ 1300 block West Arlington Boulevard, 6:35-6:38 p.m. Sept. 6: blue BMW 328IS valued at $10,000 stolen; clothing, wallet, and iPhone X all valued at $1,100 were inside the stolen vehicle; investigation ongoing.

■ 500 N. Greene St., 8:57-9 a.m. Sept. 6: five paper plates from a sealed package valued at $1 stolen from Speedway; case inactive.

■ 301 S.E. Greenville Blvd., 5 p.m. Sept. 5-8:42 a.m. Sept. 6: break-in reported at University Inn; damaged or stolen items not reported; case inactive/warrants obtained.

■ 4600 E. 10th St., 4:20-4:30 p.m. Sept. 5: a pair of men’s socks, 32GB memory card, car charger, Diet Pepsi, two magazines and purple flowers all valued at $56.30 stolen from Walmart and recovered; case closed/cleared by citation.

■ 714 S.E. Greenville Blvd., 3:30-4 p.m. Sept. 5: clothing valued at $102 stolen from Belk and recovered; 22-year-old woman arrested and charged with simple assault and 21-year-old woman arrested and charged with simple assault.


3200 block Boardwalk Lane, 5:59 p.m. Sept. 6: 18-year-old woman assaulted by child; extent of injuries not reported; case inactive.

■ 400 block Eastbrook Drive, 2:30-2:34 p.m. Sept. 5: 23-year-old woman and 24-year-old woman assaulted at home; extent of injuries not reported; case inactive.

■ 1100 block Evans Street, 12:39-12:45 p.m. Sept. 5: 30-year-old pregnant woman assaulted by husband; minor injuries reported; 26-year-old man arrested and charged with assault/battery on an unborn child, assault on a female, and interfering with emergency communication.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

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