Salisbury: Downtown Salisbury a War Zone Sunday Morning as Bullets Fly on E. Council St. Two Men Transported to Hospital with Gunshot Wounds

Posted on January 22, 2017

Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney/RFP Staff

Salisbury NC, dateline January 22, 2017, 1:56 a.m.  Dozens of pistol shots rang out tonight in a parking lot at 120 East Council St. The gunfight was the result of an argument that occurred in the King Tut Café and Hookah Lounge at 5 Easy Street. Two men were transported in private vehicles to the Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center where their wounds were judged to be non-life threatening. A third victim, who was grazed by a bullet and suffered a pistol whipping to the head, was taken to Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center E.R.. His injuries were also said to be non-life threatening.

Salisbury Police Move Down the Street with Guns Drawn:

Location Parking Lot on the 100 Block of E. Council St., Salisbury, N.C.:

Roused by the sounds of what sounded like a riot, I stuck my head out of the window only to duck back in as a second fusillade of shots echoed up and down the street. While I lost count of the back and forth gunfire for a few instants, I thought I was in Iraq or Afghanistan. Then I remembered I was in the 9th ranked most dangerous City North Carolina although I suspect we might be number one or two with Salisbury’s mushrooming stats.

What’s left of our Salisbury Police may need to invest in more of those little yellow flags with numbers on them. My guess is twenty plus rounds were discharged.

As I crossed Council Street, I could clearly smell gunpowder in the air. The parking lot was cordoned off to await Crime Scene Investigators. Officers from all over the county, including East Spencer, the Rowan County Sheriffs Office, and Granite-Faith PD arrived in very quick order, many holding AR-15 rifles and shotguns at the ready.

Unofficial sources told me that two individuals were hit and were transported to Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center by private vehicle. Reliable sources at Novant indicate two wounded individuals were admitted to the ER and police were at Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center. A third victim joined them as the result of a pistol whipping to the head and being grazed by a bullet. All three men’s injuries are said to be non-life threatenting.

The only business open was “King Tut’s Café and Hookah Lounge” in the basement of Mayor Karen Alexander’s building “The Council Street Commons”. The operator said firefight happened in the parking lot. King Tut’s Café and Hookah Lounge quickly shut down for the night.

There appeared to be a fifty or more angry young Black people on the 100 block of East Council St. No one wanted to give a statement. The crime scene was properly secured and Crime Scene Investigators were on the way. Come daylight much more may be revealed and evidence is more easily spotted.

The three victims were not identified at this time.

Local law enforcement departments who arrived to assist Salisbury Police’s overstretched and under-budgeted staff are much appreciated. It should be noted that these events occurred only a short distance from Police HQ and in sight of the Farmers and Merchant’s Building.

Photo Gallery of Crime Scene in Downtown Salisbury on the 100 block of E. Council St:


Nearby Salisbury Police HQ Parking lot:

Citizens having any knowledge about this crime are urged to call the Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333. If you fear retribution, want to remain anonymous and possibly collect a reward of up to $1,000, information can be submitted 24/7 via the web: or by calling the Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

**This article will be updated as more information arrives.**

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