Murder trial set for boat shop owner charged in fatal Bladen Co. shooting

Murder trial set for boat shop owner charged in fatal Bladen Co. shooting

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The District Attorney’s Office has announced the trial date for a Wilmington boat shop owner charged with murder in connection with a deadly shooting in Bladen County in 2017.

Assistant District Attorney Quintin McGee confirmed on Monday that the murder trial for David Wayne Gore, 57, will begin on May 20.

Gore is charged with first-degree murder after allegedly 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.

“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 in the 911 call.

"Is he the one that stole the boat?" asked the dispatcher.

“No, ma’am...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 second-degree murder but that charge was later upgraded to first-degree murder. He also is facing a charge of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping.

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