Local News

Morehead City man charged in Dunn man's death

Posted July 16, 2013

— A Morehead City man was charged Tuesday in the July 4 death of a Dunn man who was found in the Intracoastal Waterway.

Stephen Gomola, 23, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Steven Ray Johnson. He remains in jail under a $25,000 bond.

Carteret County District Attorney Scott Thomas said in court Tuesday that security video shows and witnesses said that Gomola hit Johnson two or three times outside Jack's Waterfront Bar before Johnson fell into the water.

Dive teams later recovered Johnson's body from the Intracoastal Waterway.

Thomas said it doesn't appear that the two men knew each other. They just happened to be among a crowd of about 200 watching fireworks outside the bar. It's unclear what started the altercation.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • kristy3 Jul 17, 2013

    @whatever02, I can agree with that. Very tragic & sad..

  • Gunny the Racist Jul 16, 2013

    The last few times I've been to Jacks, there has been some kind of fight. The place is getting more and more violent it seems every week. The open area out back would make me think this will happen again sometime soon.

  • outdoor592000 Jul 16, 2013

    Well, he may have won the fight, but he will be lost in jail.

  • thinkin out loud Jul 16, 2013

    At least we know the proper charge. If this was in Florida Gomola would be charged with Murder.

  • cris2 Jul 16, 2013

    I heard the same thing @kristy3. I guess the video will show exactly what happened.

  • justiceforzahara Jul 16, 2013


  • whatever02 Jul 16, 2013

    I would not doubt that Kristy. I wasn't there either but I also know people where were there and I've heard something similar. and Steven G. is a big boy - he might not have even known he was knocked out completely and if he did and then pushed him in the charge should be more than involuntary manslaughter since drowning was cause of death. The really sad this is that neither of these guys were in the original disagreement. it was Steven J's friend and Steven G's friend. they just stepped in.

  • kristy3 Jul 16, 2013

    Its my understanding that when the fight broke out that Steven G. pushed him over AFTER he had already knocked him out cold, this merely coming from friends of Johnson that were there, I wasnt...

  • justiceforzahara Jul 16, 2013

    RIP Stevie Ray.

  • whatever02 Jul 16, 2013

    it's not unclear at all. a beer bottle was thrown into the water by one of Steven Johnson's friends, Gomola said something about it - Apparently Steven and GOmola got into it, there was an altercation or fight and Steven Johnson fell into the water and drowned despite a couple of marines and others jumping in to try and find him. Horrible tragedy all the way around. Locals vs. Tourists. I'm both (live in Raleigh but have house in Carteret County too) and have been to Jack's many times - so incredibly sad for both families.