An early morning shooting and subsequent armed robbery kept police busy Sunday following what was otherwise a routine response to ECU gameday events, authorities said.
East Carolina University police reported on Monday that cameras on campus and downtown led them to an arrest in an armed robbery that occurred outside of Fletcher Residence Hall.
Cameras spotted a man later identified as Jamarcus Patterson, 28, walking from a vehicle he parked on Fifth Street toward the dorm about 5 a.m., said Capt. Chris Sutton.
A man pointed a handgun at a student outside the dorm and took her purse a short time later. Cameras then captured Patterson running back to the car and driving away. The student not injured.
Using the car’s license plate number, officers established probable cause and obtained a warrant for Patterson’s arrest, Sutton said.
The arrest was made at the Sterling Pointe Apartment complex in Greenville where Patterson lives. He surrendered without incident.
He was charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and was jailed without bond in the Pitt County Detention Center.
Patterson has a prior conviction in New Hanover County for armed robbery from June of 2015. He also was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to seriously injure in 2015.
Sutton said the last armed robbery incident to take place at ECU was on Dec. 12, 2019.
The Greenville Police Department on Monday reported an investigation into a shooting that wounded three people outside the Waffle House at 1930 S.E. Greenville Blvd. was ongoing.
The shooting occurred about 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Officers responding to a call of shots fired at the restaurant stopped a car leaving the scene. A woman in the car had been shot.
A short time later, a second vehicle showed up at Vidant Medical Center with two men who had been shot. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
An incident report said that the shooting damaged two vehicles. A Jeep Grand Cherokee had a round fired into its window and sustained $250 worth of damage. A second vehicle sustained damage estimated at $10,000.
The shooting appears to have been the result of an altercation between multiple parties. No arrests were reported by Monday night.
Public information officer Kristen Hunter said the shooting was not related to increased activity in town after East Carolina’s football game with South Carolina, which drew throngs of spectators.
Sutton said that there were minimal incidents of student misconduct and emergency calls reported during the game itself.
According to Sutton, 15 emergency medical calls were made during the game. Four students were ejected during the game itself, with those incidents being linked to alcohol use.
“With this being the first game of the year, I will take those statistics,” Sutton said. “I will say that our officers were diligent in their duty and would also credit the athletic department for their ability to work with students and the Student Pirate Club. It was also that first game that allowed anyone in since November of 2019, so you can see how people would be excited to see the game.”
The emergency response calls were linked to heat, Sutton said, something that can create a number of issues even in September.
Sutton contrasted the 15 calls with “several hundred” that were made during a 2012 home opener against Appalachian State University.
In the county, 12 arrests were made for driving while impaired on Saturday and Sunday. Sutton said that none of those arrests were made in the stadium area during the game.
Fifteen Greenville officers assisted with ECU’s gameday law enforcement and security as part of a citywide mutual aid agreement, Hunter said.
The game did not appear to affect the level of calls for police over the weekend, she said.
“Anytime there are more people in town, there are more opportunities for crimes to occur but I wouldn’t say we experienced an abnormal uptick in crime,” Hunter said.