Murder suspect sought

First Posted: 1/2/2015

LUMBERTON — Police continue looking for a second suspect in the shooting death of a 29-year-old man whose body was found inside a vehicle at a local convenience store shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Artiz Quante Bowden, 19, is accused in warrants of first-degree murder, armed robbery, shooting into an occupied property and two counts of felony conspiracy, according to a statement by Lumberton police Capt. Terry Parker.

“We are actively searching for the suspect,” Parker said.

Bowden has a lone conviction of larceny in April 2013.

Corey Mathew Deese, 22, of Elizabethtown Road, Lumberton, was arrested about 3:20 p.m. on Thursday and charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, shooting into occupied property and two counts of felony conspiracy, according to a statement by Parker.

He is being held at Robeson County Detention Center under no bond on the murder charge and $85,000 on the other charges.

Rafat Abdelaziz was found dead from a gunshot wound in the parking lot of Liberty Store on Fayetteville Road in Lumberton a few minutes before midnight on Wednesday. Police had rushed to the scene following a 911 call that was made at 11:48 p.m. The store is located at 3801 Fayetteville Road, near Lumberton Senior High School.

Police say Abdelaziz was shot during an attempted robbery on the 1300 block of Furman Drive in Lumberton, and not at the store. He is believed to have driven to the store in an attempt to get help.

Alexis Parker, who was in the vehicle with Abdelaziz, said “it was a robbery that went completely bad.”

“I’m not sure if they meant to shoot him or not,” she said. “They went up to the car and asked for everything we had, but we didn’t have anything to give them.”

Parker said one of the men then shot Abdelaziz, the driver. She said she initially thought that he had “simply fired into the air.”

“We were really good friends and I just want everybody to know that I did everything I could do,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lumberton police Detective Lee Hinson at 910-671-3845.

Abdelaziz was the 37th homicide victim in Robeson County during 2014.