Police: Restaurant Owner Shot, Killed In NoDa
Updated 2 p.m. Wednesday
Police say the co-owner of Brooks' Sandwich House in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood was shot and killed early Monday outside the restaurant.
Scott Allen Brooks, 61, was found shot to death just before 5 a.m. at the North Brevard Street restaurant, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
Police told reporters Monday morning that Brooks was there to open the cash-only restaurant when he was approached by an assailant. On Wednesday, police said the shooting likely happened during an attempted armed robbery and that they were looking for two men in connection with the crime. They didn't name suspects.
The restaurant, known for its hamburgers and walk-up service, is a Charlotte institution.
The Charlotte Observer reported in 2017 that Scott and twin brother David Brooks ran the restaurant started by their father, Calvin "CT" Brooks Jr., in 1973.
The restaurant is also known for its signature chili – a family secret that's a key ingredient on several menu items, including the famous burgers. In a short documentary produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance out of the University of Mississippi, Scott Brooks said the business his father started was based on serving blue-collar workers – "mill workers, truckers, railroad workers and just general laborers."
The brothers said about 350-500 people a day eat at Brooks' Sandwich House.
"'This is my kind of place' – I love to hear that, because we do hear it here quite a bit," Scott Brooks said in the documentary.
Video courtesy https://vimeo.com/user924481">Southern Foodways
In June, the Brooks brothers announced they'd donate three acres to help with townhomes being built by Habitat for Humanity — part of an effort to alleviate Charlotte's affordable housing crisis.
The restaurant — and the Brooks family — is a mainstay in a rapidly changing neighborhood in a rapidly growing city.
"Your sandwich shop is a huge part of our thriving neighborhood — past and present — and our whole community is heartbroken for you," NoDa restaurant Haberdish posted online.
Other members of the neighorhood are mourning, too.
"We are at a loss of words after this senseless tragedy," nearby business NoDa Company Store posted on Facebook. "Today the NoDa community mourns the loss of one of our own."
A vigil was held outside the restaurant on Tuesday evening.
It's been a particularly violent year in Charlotte. There have been 104 homicides in the city this year, according to CMPD, and Brooks' killing marks the third reported violent death in just a week.
On Friday, two children were charged with involuntary manslaughter after an 11-year-old boy they were fighting was hit by a car and killed. And on Dec. 2, a man was shot to death in a car that then crashed near the intersection of The Plaza and Milton Road.
Police are asking anyone with information that can help them solve the case to call 704-432-8477 or leave an anonymous tip at charlottecrimestoppers.com.