Last updated: 5 months ago
The violence came the same day a special group of plainclothes officers from the Wilmington Police Department and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office began pairing up to focus on robbery suppression and crime in public housing communities, following a recent spike in armed robberies and gang-related violence.
On Friday night, law enforcement officers focusing on surveillance of local restaurants were near the Pizza Hut and confronted the three men as they emerged from the building.
“We have had a rash of robberies, and we have put a lot of focus on monitoring businesses,” said Wilmington police spokeswoman Linda Rawley.
The three men had approached an employee outside the Pizza Hut about 11:45 p.m., forced the employee back into the restaurant at gunpoint and robbed those inside, Rawley said. The restaurant was open at the time.
Rawley could not say exactly how officers became aware of the robbery, but when the three suspects exited the building, they were met by police.
Ronald Roland, 18, and Tevin Robinson, 20, were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead several hours later.
Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says two suspects who were shot and killed by officers after a suspected armed robbery at the Pizza Hut on South 17th Street did not fire at the officers, but ran at them after being told to surrender.