NC man shot in head as pair search for stolen $200,000 boat, sheriff says

KELLY, N.C. (WECT) — A man was shot in the head Saturday morning after an altercation about a boat that was stolen from New Hanover County earlier this week.

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The owner of Gore Marine, where a $200,000 boat was stolen, went out searching for it in Bladen County Saturday morning around 10:30 a.m.

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“Our investigation is still ongoing and we are working to get all the details in this case,” said Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker. “What we know at this time is that a boat was stolen in New Hanover County on December 17, and the owner of the shop where the boat had been left for repair received information the boat might be located in Bladen County.”

The owner of the Gore Marine shop, David Wayne Gore, went to Bladen County looking for leads on the boat and found two men at an abandoned lumber mill on N.C. Highway 210 according to McVicker.

The lumber mill, Squires Timber, was closed several years ago but had several buildings large enough to hide a boat.

The two men were loading scrap metal in a truck at the abandoned lumber mill. The marine shop owner, Gore, 57, of Wilmington, confronted them and shot one of the individuals during the confrontation, McVicker said.

The victim, Allen W. Blanchard, 34, of Wilmington was airlifted New Hanover Regional Medical Center and is in critical condition.

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The third man involved, Ryan Ciro Thau, 33, of Wilmington, was not injured, McVicker said.

Gore has been arrested and charged in the shooting.

“The owners of Squires Timber did not know any of the individuals involved and did not know they were on the property and had given no one permission to be on the property,” said McVicker. “Based on the information as we know it now, we have arrested and charged Gore with one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.”

Gore was being held in the Bladen County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond, he bonded out on Saturday evening

Thau was also arrested and charged with felonious larceny. Thau is being held on a $5,000.00 secured bond.

The boat was not found at the abandoned lumber mill.

Late Saturday night, the Sheriff’s office confirmed that the two men had no connection to the stolen boat.

The investigation is ongoing.

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