NC snake exhibit owner shot and killed by wife, police say

Dean Ripa and Regina Ripa in photos from WECT. Dean Ripa had survived 12 venomous snake bites, the business website said.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) — The owner of the Cape Fear Serpentarium was shot and killed in a residence above the museum Saturday afternoon.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A GALLERY OF SNAKES COMMONLY FOUND IN NC.
CLICK TO VIEW A GALLERY OF SNAKES COMMONLY FOUND IN NC.

According to Cathryn Lindsay, a spokesperson with the Wilmington Police Department, Larry Dean Ripa, 60, was shot in a domestic incident.

UPDATE: NC snake exhibit owner murdered Saturday remembered as great friend, ‘top expert’

Police responded to the residence at 20 Orange Street, around 2:25 p.m., where they found him suffering from a gunshot wound.

He later died at the scene.

Police have now charged Ripa’s wife, Regina Ripa, 40, with her husband’s murder.

Regina Ripa is being held in the New Hanover County Jail under no bond.

The scene Saturday afternoon at the Cape Fear Serpentarium, which is a place where snakes and sometimes other reptiles are kept for display or study. WECT image CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Two weddings were taking place Saturday as detectives canvassed the crime scene.

Spencer McGill, the groom of a wedding happening on South Front Street Saturday thinks it’s odd that the incident happened in the middle of the day.

“It’s intense yeah. It’s definitely crazy that happened in the middle of the day, middle of downtown, busy people walking everywhere,” McGill said.

Police say the investigation is still ongoing.

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved. 

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