FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Two men have been charged with murder after a man was beaten to death in a parking lot outside a Fayetteville restaurant early Sunday morning, police said.
Fayetteville police officers responded to the parking lot of 301 Wingz at 407 N. Eastern Boulevard in response to a reported fight just before 12:30 a.m., police said.
According to a preliminary investigation, the victim and two men were inside the restaurant before the fight. When the three men left, they began to fight while in the parking lot. The victim was beaten, suffered serious injuries and left unconscious in the parking lot, police said.
Police and the victim’s stepson, Joseph Hinton, told CBS North Carolina that the man killed was Michael Mansfield, 52, of the 300 block of N. Eastern Boulevard.
Mansfield, who went by “Mike,” was the owner of 1st Place Auto Wash and Detailing Shop. The car wash is just down the block from the restaurant.
Sunday afternoon, Fayetteville Police announced they arrested two men in the murder.
Hubert Underwood II, 37, of the 2900 Block of Custer Avenue, and Steven Rosser, 26, of the 4100 block of Cedar Creek Road, are each facing one count of first-degree murder, police said.
Family and friends placed signs, notes and flowers outside the doors of 1st Place Auto Wash at 325 N. Eastern Boulevard.
Hinton told CBS North Carolina that his stepfather was a great man.
“He was the type of man that would give you the shirt off his back. He would help anybody in need. He would pray for complete strangers.”
Hinton described the crime as “senseless” and “violent.”
“If any man did not deserve a violent death, it was this man. This man would want forgiveness for the people that did this to him. That’s not a lie. I am struggling with that, I am not going to lie. He would want people to forgive,” he said.
Manfield’s friends had mixed feelings about the arrests of suspects.
“I think it’s great that you’ve got two people in custody. On the other hand, it doesn’t bring Mike back,” said Jimmy Phillips. “And he’ll be missed tremendously by the community.”
Police said that the two suspects were seen getting into a vehicle and fleeing the scene following the altercation.
Mansfield was transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.
According to a 2014 Fayetteville Observer article, Mansfield was a “born-again former drug dealer and free-base cocaine addict.”
He opened the car wash in 1998, the newspaper reported.
Underwood and Rosser are being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center without bond. Their first court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 6.
Anyone with information regarding the homicide investigation is asked to contact Detective J. Littlejohn with the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 818-3468 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).
Crimestoppers information can also be submitted electronically, by visiting http://fay-nccrimestoppers.org and completing the anonymous online tip sheet or by text-a-tip on your mobile device by sending a message to 274637 (in the text box type “4Tip” followed by your message).