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Hunter fatally shot at close range, authorities say

Posted December 24, 2012

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— A hunter who died Friday after three days on life support was shot at a relatively close range, Lee County sheriff's investigators said Monday.

Robert Matthew Devitto, 26, of Broadway, was duck hunting by himself last Tuesday on state game lands near Gunther Road in Lee County when he was shot.

Lee County sheriff's Capt. Jeff Johnson said that it was likely that whoever shot Devitto knew what he or she was shooting at and that the shooting was not an accident.

Johnson also said that, based on investigators' work so far, it appeared Devitto had also gotten into some kind of confrontation with another hunter.

Investigators are treating the case as a homicide and are asking for the public's help to solve the case.

Friends found Devitto's red Chevrolet pickup truck parked outside the game lands Tuesday night when he never returned home. A short time later, just after 8 p.m., they found him on the ground with a gunshot wound by a single buckshot round to his face and chest.

Devitto, who is also a soldier at Fort Bragg, was on life support and died just after 1p.m. Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 919-775-5531 or leave an anonymous tip at 919-718-4577. A cash reward is offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.

"Please, from Robert's family, if you heard or saw anything that day to come forward," someone wrote on Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter's blog Thursday. "Help us relieve some of the pain by getting our questions answered."

15 Comments

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  • piene2 Dec 28, 9:37 a.m.

    "The hunter shot through an electric fence and we have no idea who he or she was, only a dead goat.piene2

    Sorry for your loss and especially for the violated feelings when a trespasser destroys property. I am familiar with this experience. Goats are valuable livestock. If it was in a pasture behind a fence you can rest assured it was not mistaken for a deer. This was hopefully a one-time occurence. Harass a game warden into investigating a crime like this if you have the patience it takes to wait for one to arrive.
    ripetomatoes"

    It is highly unlikely that any amount of investigation would succeed. There is a hunt club nearby and the people can not seem to keep to their own property.

  • ripetomatoes Dec 27, 4:39 p.m.

    The hunter shot through an electric fence and we have no idea who he or she was, only a dead goat.piene2

    Sorry for your loss and especially for the violated feelings when a trespasser destroys property. I am familiar with this experience. Goats are valuable livestock. If it was in a pasture behind a fence you can rest assured it was not mistaken for a deer. This was hopefully a one-time occurence. Harass a game warden into investigating a crime like this if you have the patience it takes to wait for one to arrive.

  • sayitoutloud Dec 27, 12:07 p.m.

    Some people (hunters or not) do only shoot for the kill. Someone shot a nice size buck on my mothers property just a few weeks ago. Left the body and cut off the antlers. Im all for killing for the meat, but dont kill just b/c you can, or b/c you want the antlers to prove you can shoot something.
    I DO hope they find the person that did this, and bring him/her to justice. That man fought for our country and was killed over something stupid.

  • kermit60 Dec 27, 10:30 a.m.

    superman; They assumed there was a confrontation because the guy didn't shoot himself.

  • piene2 Dec 27, 9:37 a.m.

    "Please tell me when hunting season is over so I can wash the word "Horse" off my horses and the word "Goat" off my goats. Two years ago one of those fine hunters mistook one of my goats for Bambi and shot it. piene2

    Was your livestock confined when the hunter shot it? That would be trespassing, which disqualifies this hunter as "fine". It would also be simple to have this hunter's license to hunt revoked.
    ripetomatoes"

    The hunter shot through an electric fence and we have no idea who he or she was, only a dead goat.

  • superman Dec 26, 5:28 p.m.

    Wonder how they "assumed" there was a confrontation with another peson? Certainly appears to be intentional. Could have been a different issue other than duck hunting.

  • It Starts Today Dec 26, 3:53 p.m.

    "One day I drove to a county trash container to deposit some trash and saw a dead male deer that someone had thrown in it and the only thing that was missing from the animal were the antlers. How is that for the sanctity of life."

    How do you know a hunter did this? It is highly possible that someone cleaned a deer off the road that had been hit by a vehicle and chose to keep the antlers.

  • Sanford_27330 Dec 26, 3:38 p.m.

    As I mentioned before, hunters generally dont get along with other hunters.. this being game lands who knows who could have been walking those woods carrying a shotgun.

  • ripetomatoes Dec 26, 1:40 p.m.

    Please tell me when hunting season is over so I can wash the word "Horse" off my horses and the word "Goat" off my goats. Two years ago one of those fine hunters mistook one of my goats for Bambi and shot it. piene2

    Was your livestock confined when the hunter shot it? That would be trespassing, which disqualifies this hunter as "fine". It would also be simple to have this hunter's license to hunt revoked.

  • piene2 Dec 26, 1:21 p.m.

    "Please, don't go out in the field during looney bird season.
    The original American"

    Please tell me when hunting season is over so I can wash the word "Horse" off my horses and the word "Goat" off my goats. Two years ago one of those fine hunters mistook one of my goats for Bambi and shot it.

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