Murder charges upgraded for Wilmington boat shop owner

David Wayne Gore (Source: Bladen Co. Sheriff's Office)
David Wayne Gore (Source: Bladen Co. Sheriff's Office)
Updated: Oct. 29, 2018 at 8:15 PM EDT
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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington boat shop owner originally charged with second-degree murder in connection to a deadly shooting last year is now charged with first-degree murder.

A grand jury in Bladen County indicted David Wayne Gore, 57, earlier this month.

“We submitted one count each of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and second-degree kidnapping to the Bladen County grand jury on Oct. 1,” says Assistant District Attorney Quintin McGee. “He was indicted on each count."

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 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.

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