GASTONIA, N.C. — The Gastonia Police Department says tips sent in from the public helped them find a suspect accused of robbing a mother of her purse and taking aim at a Good Samaritan trying to help her.
Officers say the scene unfolded around 12:40 a.m. on Monday, June 21 at the QuickTrip gas station on East Long Avenue. The woman was leaving her car with her baby when the suspect approached her, reportedly asking for baby formula. Police say as she started looking for formula, the suspect ripped her purse off of her shoulder and started running away behind the store.
At that point, police say a Good Samaritan started pursuing the suspect, but the suspect took out a gun and pointed it at the Good Samaritan. Police released a surveillance photo of the suspect, and on Thursday said 21-year-old Deshawn Dominich Baxter of Gastonia was in custody. He is charged with robbery, assault by pointing a gun, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.
WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.
Since the suspect is in custody and not deemed an immediate threat to the community by police, his mugshot is not included here.