CMPD Maj. Cam Selvey announced this afternoon that the department has made an arrest in the Dec. 9, 2019, murder of Scott Brooks, co-owner of Brooks’ Sandwich House in the NoDa neighborhood. Detectives are still looking for a second suspect.
According to Selvey, police arrested 33-year-old Terry Conner Jr. this morning at a home on Countryside Drive in the Hidden Valley neighborhood. Conner has been charged with murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first-degree kidnapping and possession of firearm by a felon. Selvey said Conner had a criminal history that included a conviction for a home invasion in which he shot two people, for which he had recently been released from prison after serving about six years.
Conner appeared in court on Thursday and told the judge that he is “completely innocent.” He continued: “To the victim’s family, I am sorry for their loss, but I had nothing to do with it.”
In January, police released surveillance footage from outside of Brooks’ that showed two suspects attempting to rob the business. Selvey said the second suspect has not yet been identified, and the $21,000 Crime Stoppers reward offered for information leading to an arrest is still active.
Homicide detectives worked with the CMPD SWAT Unit, the Violent Criminal Task Force and the FBI to identify and find Conner, Selvey said, crediting lead homicide detective Dawn Martin’s “old-fashioned, nose-to-the-grindstone police work,” with the arrest.
“[Conner] stayed local. I’m not sure that he felt like he needed to hide. That was a mistake,” Selvey said. “My homicide detectives are not going to stop until they find you.”
This morning, JD Harris, founder of Glory Days Apparel, joined the Brooks family in front of their restaurant to present Habitat for Humanity with a check for $12,250 in Scott’s name. The money came from sales of a “Too Blessed to be Stressed” t-shirt that Harris designed in Scott’s honor.
Brooks’ murder devastated those in the NoDa neighborhood and around the city, where Scott and his brother David have long been known for their community work.
David and Scott’s father, Calvin Teal “CT” Brooks, opened Brooks’ Sandwich House in 1973, serving breakfast and lunch to workers from the Highland Manufacturing Co. Mill across the street, now the Highland Mill Lofts. The restaurant has long been famous for its “All the Way” burgers, made with mustard, onions and housemade chili.
Calvin passed away at 90 years old in August 2017, and David and Scott have been running the restaurant for years. They’ve remained engaged in the community — donating land this summer for Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing on — while also bringing in a third generation of family members to learn the business.