A beloved North Carolina barber and father of three was shot dead after a confrontation with a man spouting racial slurs.
On August 6, Julius “Juice” Randolph Sampson Jr. was killed outside the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, in Winston-Salem after a fight broke out inside with Robert Granato and spilled outside the facility where gunshots erupted, The Winston-Salem Chronicle reports.
When the Winston-Salem Police arrived, Sampson was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to reports, Granato spouted white supremacist views and got into a heated argument and an altercation inside the brewery with Sampson before taking it outside and brandishing a weapon before discharging it, killing him.
After the killing made headlines, the #JusticeForJuice hashtag went viral for Sampson who was a well-known barber at the Supreme Legacy Barbershop.
Sampson had reportedly recently married and was a father of three.
Sampson’s wife said in a statement on Facebook, “I want the world to know the amazing young man that was senselessly snatched away from me and our family. I want awareness and justice for my husband. My husband wasn’t an animal that deserved slaughtering.”
Granato’s social media accounts revealed the 22-year-old’s support of white supremacist groups and one photo shows him with weapons while another shows him with a shirt that says ‘Murica’ while flashing the infamous white power symbol.
Granato is being held without bond and charged with first degree murder. He is also charged with carrying a concealed handgun after consuming alcohol.
According to WFDD, Police Chief Catrina Thompson stated at a press conference, that what investigators have found so far doesn’t warrant a hate-crime charge.
“Detectives have found no evidence to indicate that this crime was motivated by race,” she said. “Should any evidence to the contrary be developed, detectives and prosecutors will review that evidence and the appropriate charges that evidence would support.”
More than 100 people took part in a vigil in the restaurant parking lot where Sampson died.
Mayor Allen Joines released a statement on the shooting.
“On behalf of our entire city, I offer sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Julius Randolph Sampson Jr.,” he said. “Please be assured that the city is fully investigating this terrible tragedy. While we are uncertain as to the totality of the crime, please be assured that we will investigate all aspects of the persons involved and take any and all appropriate action as a result of the investigation.”