BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – A Wilmington man told dispatchers that a weekend shooting at an abandoned lumber mill in Bladen County that claimed the life of another man was “accidental” and that he “screwed up,” 911 calls released Thursday revealed.
David Wayne Gore, 57, is charged with second-degree murder after authorities say he fatally shot Allen W. Blanchard, 34, of Wilmington, in the head following a confrontation at the Squires Timber mill off NC 210 in Kelly Saturday morning.
Gore, the owner of Gore Marine in Wilmington, received a tip that a $200,000 boat stolen from his shop earlier in the week had been spotted in Bladen County.
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According to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Gore arrived at the mill and found Blanchard and another man, Ryan Ciro Thau, 33, of Wilmington, loading scrap metal onto a truck.
Authorities said Gore confronted the men and shot Blanchard, who was airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where he died Monday. Thau was not injured during the incident.
Following the shooting, Gore called 911 and was put through to dispatchers in Pender County. After some initial confusion by dispatchers, they realized Gore was not in Pender County and transferred him to Bladen County 911.
“What’s going on out there?” the Bladen County dispatcher asked.
“There was some stealing going on…and an accidental shooting,” Gore explained.
It’s unclear why, but Gore made a second 911 call and was put through to Pender County again. Dispatchers tried to transfer Gore back to Bladen County but received a busy signal.
“Sir, just stay on the phone with me, OK?” the Pender County dispatcher said.
“We need to [hurry]. He’s been shot in the head but I don’t know if…he’s breathing right now but he’s not going to be here much longer,” Gore said. “And I am the shooter.”
The Pender County dispatcher tries a second time to transfer Gore to Bladen County 911 but received another busy signal.
It’s unclear why, but Gore was disconnected from Pender County 911 and the dispatcher calls his number back.
“OK sir, just stay with me,” the dispatcher said.
“My brother is on the other line with someone from Bladen County,” Gore explains.
“OK sir, what happened?” the dispatcher asked.
Gore explains to the dispatcher that he was in Bladen County searching for the boat that was taken from his shop earlier that week.
“We tracked it up this way and we stopped here to find that there was somebody back there in these buildings..and I had my gun…and I was aiming at him and the gun went off and shot the man right in the head,” Gore said.
“Is he the one that stole the boat?” asked the dispatcher.
“No, ma’am. It was a truck like that but it was not him…the only thing I know is I screwed up. I’m going to be honest about the whole thing,” Gore said.
Sheriff’s officials later confirmed that Blanchard and Thau had no connection to the stolen boat, but Thau was charged Saturday with felony larceny after the property owners said no one had permission to be at the mill.
A warrant states that Thau was attempting to take a dump truck rear end and a large wood chipper metal cover belonging to the property owners.
Gore was taken into custody and initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Those charges were later upgraded to second-degree murder after Blanchard passed away.
An arrest warrant states that Gore used a revolver in the deadly shooting.
Gore surrendered to deputies Thursday morning and subsequently made his first court appearance on the second-degree murder charge.
Prosecutors asked for Gore’s bond to be set at $750,000. Gore’s attorney, Buddy Allard, countered that Gore was not a flight risk and had willingly turned himself in.
Gore’s bond was set at $100,000, which he posted Thursday morning and was released from jail.
A probable cause hearing has been set for Jan. 19 in the case.
Dozens of people packed the courtroom Thursday in support of Gore.
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