From WCNC of February 25, 2008
Shooting ends man's life of crime
A Charlotte family is grieving after they say their loved one was shot to death by a man he was trying to rob.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police responded to an armed robbery call at the Cricket cell phone store at the Catawba Village shopping center on Mount Holly – Huntersville Road Saturday night.
There, they found a man shot. Medic declared that man dead on the scene, and the only other person in the store was the store’s manager, who wasn’t hurt.
Family members identified the dead man as 54-year-old James Henry Brewer.
His mother broke down in tears in front of the store Saturday night and screamed his name.
"Who killed my son? Who killed my son? James Henry. James Henry," cried Mary Brewer Givens.
Police had not confirmed the man’s identity Sunday, but Givens said it was her son.
“We all stood there until they brought my son out of the Cricket place,” she recalled, “zipped up in that dead bag.”
Givens told WCNC Sunday that she knows what her son went into the store to do.
“The police told my grandson he had a mask and a gun when he went in there,” said Givens. She knows it’s not the first time he’s had trouble with the law.
A North Carolina Department of Corrections website shows James Henry Brewer has a record back to a kidnapping conviction in 1974, when he was 19.
Three other armed robbery convictions show up since then – the last in 1992. The DOC website said Brewer was released from prison in 2001.
Brewer’s wife, Tamara, said her husband worked in construction for three years after his release, and then stayed home to take care of her.
Tamara Brewer said she has diabetes, and her husband donated a kidney to her for a transplant.
She didn’t deny her husband may have been robbing the store. She said he is a good man who made a “wrong decision.”
“He’s in a better place,” said Tamara Brewer. “It was his time.”
Givens, James Henry Brewer’s mother, said he may be responsible for other cell-phone store robberies, and may have had an accomplice who hasn’t been caught.
Police weren’t available Sunday to confirm family members' details.
Man Shot in Robbery Attempt