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Press Release

Armed Career Criminal Who Shot Fayetteville Pawn Shop Owner Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. –Mario Whitted, 28, of Fayetteville was sentenced today to 540 months in prison for possessing ammunition as a convicted felon. He was convicted by a federal jury in April of this year and deemed an armed career criminal. Whitted has three prior state convictions for common law robbery.

“Today’s sentence puts a career criminal behind bars and sends a stronger message to the Fayetteville community. Our prosecutors are working shoulder-to-shoulder with law enforcement relentlessly pursuing those responsible for gun violence in our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Mario Whitted, 28, a felon and armed career criminal shot the owner of a Fayetteville pawn shop as he closed his shop on November 30, 2019. The owner, who survived the attack, was struck twice in the leg and returned fire with his own handgun. Whitted fled the scene and flagged down a Good Samaritan who offered to take him to a local emergency room. Whitted instead insisted that he be taken home. He was later apprehended in South Carolina 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.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced the defendant. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Fayetteville Police Department, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, and Robeson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad Rhoades and Phil Aubart prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:21-CR-87-BO.


Updated August 2, 2023

Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses