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Four Oaks gunshot victim found dead; stepson charged

Posted November 19, 2014

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— Johnston County sheriff's deputies on Wednesday found the body of a man who authorities say they believe was shot by his stepson in Four Oaks earlier this week.

Sheriff Steve Bizzell said Gilbert Ray Stanley, 62, was found around 2:15 p.m. near the Blackmon's Crossroads community. He would not say how authorities found the body, only that he received information that led searchers to it.

Stanley had been missing since Monday night, when deputies responded sometime after 9:45 p.m. to a report of a shooting at 8068-B Stricklands Crossroads Road.

When they arrived, however, they found only blood on the ground and no sign of Stanley or his stepson, Brandon Lee Slade.

A neighbor had been at the home earlier in the evening, investigators said, and found Slade with a gun and Stanley on the ground.

Bizell would not confirm whether Stanley had been shot.

The sheriff's office and crews with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Wake County Sheriff's Office, Raleigh Fire Department, Fayetteville Police Department and Johnston County Emergency Services spent Tuesday and Wednesday searching for Stanley by air and by foot.

Deputies found him in some woods near Thomas Road and N.C. Highway 96, about 5 miles from where the neighbor heard the gunshots.

"I can't say the things I really want to say," Stanley's sister, Kathie Stanley, said Wednesday afternoon. "I'm just glad they found my brother's body."

It has been sent to the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh for an autopsy.

Meanwhile, Slade, 37, was in jail Wednesday under a $500,000 bond on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of a firearm in violation of a domestic violence protective order.

"We're in the process of charging Brandon Slade with the murder of Gilbert Stanley," Bizzell said. "We have not determined a motive yet. The investigation is ongoing."

Sheriff's deputies arrested Slade after he surrendered sometime late Tuesday morning after he approached them at a staging area set up for authorities investigating the shooting.

He told a WRAL News crew minutes before being taken into custody that he wasn't sure why authorities might be looking for him.

"So far, it's violating a restraining order or something. I don’t know," he said before approaching deputies.

Although investigators haven't determined what might have prompted the shooting, Kathie Stanley said Slade is involved in a custody dispute with family members over his 7-year-old son who had been staying with Gilbert Stanley and his wife.

"I could guess the rest of my life, but I don't know for sure," she said. "It's something that's been building for a while."


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  • juliadenton29 Nov 20, 2014

    This is so sad, from what I here all involved are very good people and a good family...something just went very wrong.. So sorry for all involved...Now the precious little boy has no grandpa or daddy to love..

  • USMC Vet Nov 19, 2014

    So his son once had a grandfather who loved him enough to care for him when he wasn't found capable of doing so himself for whatever reason.

    Now the child has neither father nor grandfather, and this father didn't think about that little boy as he was blowing away its grandfather!?!

    This guy should never see his son again.

    Prayers for the little boy. I pray there is someone left to love and care for him the way his grandfather is said to have once done.

  • jazzyspapaw Nov 19, 2014

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    Where do you see anywhere that the victim fled the scene. The body was found 5 miles away in the woods. Sounds like someone dumped the body hoping it would not be found. Prayers and thought to the family and especially for the 7 year old.

  • ashewing Nov 19, 2014

    winniwfan - I don't think the victim was still alive to flee any where. I think he was carried.

  • WinnieFan Nov 19, 2014

    Why in the world did the VICTIM flee while injured? He could have been saved if taken to a hospital. What a shame...

  • Nicki Baker Nov 19, 2014
    user avatar

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but his son is in my daughter's class and they're friends. They share an interest in the computer game Minecraft, and he was sweet enough to share one of his minecraft blocks with my daughter. Please keep the little boy in your thoughts, he's a sweet kid and his world is falling apart around him.

  • 678devilish Nov 19, 2014

    A tragedy. Pray for this family. My condolences to all involved.

  • farm Nov 19, 2014

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    Yep, lower crime rate and better public schools. We finally agree on something.