Wilmington boat shop owner indicted on murder charge in deadly Bladen Co. shooting

David Wayne Gore (Source: Bladen Co. Sheriff's Office)
David Wayne Gore (Source: Bladen Co. Sheriff's Office)

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A grand jury in Bladen County has indicted the owner of a Wilmington boat repair shop in connection with a deadly shooting last year.

David Wayne Gore, 57, was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder Monday morning, according to District Attorney Jon David.

Gore is accused of fatally shooting Allen W. Blanchard, 34, of Wilmington, in the head following a confrontation at Squires Timber mill off NC 210 in the Kelly community of Bladen County on Dec. 23, 2017.

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.

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 the following Monday. Thau was not injured during the incident.

Sheriff's officials later confirmed that Blanchard and Thau had no connection to the stolen boat, but Thau was charged with felony larceny after the property owners said no one had permission to be at the mill.

In 911 calls released following the deadly encounter, Gore admitted to dispatchers he shot Blanchard while searching for the stolen boat.

"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.

Gore was initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill which was later upgraded to second-degree murder following Blanchard's death.

Blanchard's father, Allen Blanchard Sr., discussed the charges via Facetime on Monday, saying Gore should not have gotten out on bond.

"He executed my son," said Blanchard Sr. "He should not be walking the streets for the next two years before he goes to court. Then, according to the prosecutor, he's allowed to carry a gun. How do you let somebody who executed somebody in the United States have a gun?"

Gore's next court date is scheduled for March 16, according to online records.

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