Pender authorities have man wanted for murder in custody

Ronnie Peddie (Source: Pender Co. Sheriff's Office)
Ronnie Peddie (Source: Pender Co. Sheriff's Office)
Ronnie Peddie (Source: Pender Co. Sheriff's Office)
Ronnie Peddie (Source: Pender Co. Sheriff's Office)

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Pender County Sheriff's Office has a man accused of murder in custody.

According to authorities, Ronnie Eugene Peddie of Watha is wanted for murder and first degree burglary after they say he shot and killed Harry Lee Tate, 58, in his home Saturday evening.

Loved ones say Tate and his wife were inside their home off Highway 11 in Willard watching TV when they heard a knock at the door.  They say one of their children went to see who was at the door, and a man holding a gun let himself into the home.

According to family members, the man picked up one of Tate's children and held a gun to his head.  They say the intruder shot Tate when he went to investigate the commotion.

Tate's sister, Juliet Tate Newton, said the community is devastated and frightened from the incident, because officials are staying tight-lipped about the case.

"The police haven't given us any kind of information as to what they've done," said Newton.  "We don't know whether an arrest has been made, so the community is fearful."

Family members said they were trying to be patient with the investigation, but they didn't understand why it took days for an arrest to be made.

"We've been told that this man went to work Sunday," said Newton. "He murdered my brother Saturday and went to work on Sunday. That's cold blooded."

Pender County Sheriff Carson Smith said investigators worked as quickly as possible.

"We put all the resources we had on it," said Smith.  "It takes some time to develop a suspect, and develop evidence against them to be able to take a warrant out. You want to make sure you have the right person before you arrest them."

Peddie made contact with family members Thursday morning and made arrangements to turn himself into Law Enforcement.

The family contacted an investigator with the Sheriff's Office and the officer met with a family member and the Peddie, where he was then taken into custody.

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