Local News

Man shoots estranged wife in parking lot of Lee County Courthouse

Posted June 8, 2016

— A man shot his estranged wife Wednesday morning moments after the pair had appeared in the Lee County Courthouse on charges of communicating threats, police said.

Authorities said Steven Douglas Burch, 28, shot Katti Marie Sheffield, 35, in the courthouse parking lot at about 11:45 a.m.. Sheffield was taken by helicopter to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill for treatment of a gunshot wound to her back. She was released Wednesday night, according to her mother.

Burch was taken into custody about one block from the courthouse shortly after the shooting, authorities said. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a felon, and a violation of a domestic protective order with a firearm.

Both Burch and Sheffield were previously charged with communicating threats. Those cases were continued prior to Wednesday's shooting.


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  • TJ Wahoo Jun 9, 2016
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    Convicted felons who use guns in the commission of a felony should get automatic 50-year sentences on top of their alleged crime.

  • Tonya Newell Jun 9, 2016
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    Yes both parties were there for communicating threats... BUT, you do not need proof to go to the magistrate and say that someone threatened you. They arrest you on your word. Katti had took out papers on him for communicating threats (which as you can tell, he made good on it) and to retaliate, he did the same even though she never communicated any threats to him. She just wanted to be left alone. They were at court on Monday to have a hearing to continue her 50-B which as you can tell, she needed even though she was still gunned down on federal property. Domestic violence is not a joke. If they don't keep the other person in the court room long enough for the other to get a way, they should.

  • Donald Holder Jun 9, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    that was not there when I replied. In fact, he hadn't even been caught yet.

  • Janet Ghumri Jun 8, 2016
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    It doesn't say what his intended plea is for the communicating threats charge, or the DV situation, but it'll be difficult for his attorney to make him look innocent, after this blatant act of violence. Prayers for the victim. At least now he has put himself in jail

  • Kristen Ford-Newell Jun 8, 2016
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    An order of protection is not a bullet prove piece of paper. Guaranteed the spouse had reason to seek one and guaranteed they thought about it for a very long time. Abuse spouses should not have to question themselves if they are doing the right thing or not. ( I'm sure they have..they just waited to long) A volatile situation will never ever get better. She' slucky she's alive. I worked family court for years...now retired from NYS Courts Law Enforcement)..I do not know why Judges are still walking on egg shells to protect the abused spouse. Rights have been violated, protect the innocent..stop giving adjournments.

  • Lauren Little Jun 8, 2016
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    When I had my hearing for the DVPO they kept the defendant in the court room for 20 minutes after I was allowed to leave so I'd have time to safely make my exit. I wonder if they do that there and/or if it would have helped. So sad for her. Hope she recovers.

  • Anita Gibson Jun 8, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Actually at the bottom it says he was charged with violation of a domestic protection order

  • Donald Holder Jun 8, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Nowhere does it say that she had a restraining order against him. In face, BOTH were previously charged with communicating threats.

  • Crystal Czeck Jun 8, 2016
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    That's how much good a restraining order does for you. Just throw the piece of paper at them, they won't hurt you then.