Police is investigating of this was a hate-crime or a random encounter caused by a heated argument between the two.
A white man, Robert Granato, is accused of shooting and killing a 32-year-old North Carolina barber, Julius Sampson Jr. during a heated argument between the two, reports Atlanta Black Star.
This man, Julius Sampson Jr, was murdered last night because he was Black. A white supremacist shot him in the parking lot of BJ’s Restaurant in NC, after yelling racial slurs. We must stand up and fight back against all hatred. May this young brother Rest In Peace. #uliusSampson pic.twitter.com/fgYWz79MEr— Coby Owens #JusticeforJuliusSampson (@CobyJOwens) August 7, 2019
Eyewitnesses have revealed that Sampson was defending a female bartender when they two men got into an argument and moments later the white man was heard hurling racist slurs at Sampson, before shooting him.
Sampson who was killed in the Winston-Salem incident was a father of three.
Reportedly, Winston-Salem's oldest community newspaper has pulled out a 2014 photo of Granato that shows him standing with a man displaying what appears to be the OK hand signal associated with white supremacy.
However, the police are still investigating if the incident was a hate crime. Winston-Salem's police chief said in a press conference that both the victim and the accused used racial slurs and that "detectives have found no evidence to indicate that this crime was motivated by race."
"Detectives have no information or evidence to indicate that this incident was anything other than a random encounter that resulted in a verbal argument that escalated into a physical confrontation," Thompson added.
Julius Sampson's wife Keyia Sampson told that she does not want to see Granato in the court but she wants justice to be served.
"I promise, Julius. I promise. I love you and I will never let you down. Your name will be remembered. The world will know Julius Sampson Jr. and the legacy he leaves behind. I won't let you down," she said.