NC shop owner looking for stolen boat now faces murder charge after deadly confrontation

The stolen boat and a photo of David Wayne Gore, who owns the shop it was stolen from. (WECT photos)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A Wilmington shop owner is now facing murder charges after a man he shot in the head during a confrontation at an abandoned lumber mill in Bladen County over the weekend passed away, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

Allen W. Blanchard, 34, of Wilmington, died at New Hanover Regional Medical Center on Monday. An autopsy will be performed in Jacksonville on Tuesday, according to Major Larry Guyton with the sheriff’s office.

The incident happened at Squires Timber off NC 210 near the Kelly community around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

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Authorities said the owner of Gore Marine, 57-year-old David Wayne Gore, went searching for a $200,000 boat that was stolen from his shop earlier in the week. Gore received a tip that the boat was in Bladen County.

According to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Gore arrived at the lumber mill and found Blanchard and another man, 33-year-old Ryan Ciro Thau of Wilmington, loading scrap metal into a truck.

Gore then confronted the men and shot Blanchard who was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in critical condition, according to authorities. Thau was not injured during the incident.

Gore was initially arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. Guyton said murder charges will now be filed against Gore.

Gore is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

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