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Three suspects arrested in triple killing-robbery at rural store in North Carolina

Three suspects were arrested in connection with the robbery and triple killing in the rural community of Farmville, N.C., the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

The crime took place Sunday night at a convenience store on a sparsely populated road as three employees — the teen son of the owner and his two cousins — were preparing to close for the night. A customer discovered the shooting victims shortly after the perpetrators left, around 10 p.m.

The bloody crime shook this normally quiet community. Farmville has a population of about 4,500 and is more than an hour's drive east of Raleigh. County and town law enforcers had been on a 24/7 manhunt before the arrests.

Sheriff Neil Elks announced the arrests of the two men and an unnamed juvenile Wednesday morning: Antwan Andre Anthony, 29, of Bethel; Xavier Montel Shamble, 19, of Farmville; and a Farmville juvenile were brought in late Tuesday night for questioning. 

Each was charged with three counts of murder on Wednesday morning, and each was charged with other charges, including first-degree kidnapping, robbery and possession of firearm by a felon.

The three victim, whose families came from Yemen, were Mokbel Mohamed Almujanhi, 16 — known at his high school as "Sam" — Nabil Nasser Saeed Al’mogannahi, 26, and Gaber Alawi, 24.

In the surveillance tape, the three men did not appear to put up any kind of resistance to the robbers, said Christy Wallace, public information director for the Sheriff’s Office.

"There wasn’t anything they could have done differently," she said.

Surveillance cameras in the Hustle Mart store captured the crimes in graphic "very disturbing" detail, according to Wallace, though faces of the perpetrators were covered or obscured.

The family did not know the three people arrested, according to a report by the local Daily Reflector that cited Tony Muhssen, a spokesman for the victims’ family.

"The family is still trying to recover from all of this, but it is a great relief," he told the paper, referring to the arrests.

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