A Sampson County man, believed to be 36 or 37 years old, was shot twice with a 12-gauge shotgun in the wee hours of Saturday morning and was likely killed in self-defense, sources close to the ongoing investigation have said.
While Sampson County sheriff's officials have remained tight-lipped about the case, refusing to name the victim or the alleged shooter, saying they didn't want to compromise an ongoing investigation, preliminary autopsy results, along with sketchy details from other sources, offer a glimpse into what happened.
Sampson Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Barr said initial autopsy results show that the victim was shot once at close range in the left shoulder, across the top of the chest. A second shot, he said, took a downward path through the right side to the lower chest/abdomen area.
“The second shot was a little more disturbing,” Dr. Barr stressed, noting that a completed autopsy would provide more information.
“I've not completed the autopsy yet, but that's what the preliminary findings are.”
Either shot, Dr. Barr said, could have been fatal.
The incident occurred just after midnight Saturday at a Jernigan Loop Road residence where sources say the victim's wife and daughter had gone for the evening. When they didn't return, the victim apparently went looking for them, winding up at the Jernigan Loop home.
While there, an apparent argument started, with the victim, reportedly irate, being repeatedly asked to leave.
At some point, sources say, a shotgun was grabbed and fired, with the victim shot twice. Dr. Barr said he understood that attempts were made to stop the victim's bleeding but it was too late.
When contacted, Sampson County Sheriff's Lt. Marcus Smith declined to provide details on the case, only saying officers were still investigating. No names were released.
“We don't want to compromise the case,” Smith reiterated again Wednesday. He also declined to comment on whether they had taken anyone into custody in the incident.
“We are still investigating at this time,” he said.
Officers are also keeping mum on a second Saturday shooting, this one that occurred just after 8 p.m. Saturday on Goldsboro Highway. In that incident, one man was injured and taken to the emergency room for treatment.The two shootings are apparently unrelated.
Smith said that the victim in the second case was expected to recover.
Again, the sheriff's lieutenant declined to comment on whether the alleged shooter was in custody and refused to give the name or age of the victim.
Both incidents remain under investigation.